Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Lemony Kale Salad With Quinoa, Grapes And Manchego Cheese

Kale salad with quinoa, grapes and manchego cheese

When Mr. SSS and I go to The Misfit {a favorite local restaurant} we almost always start off with their kale salad and 2 forks. I love this salad so much that I have created my at-home version - certainly not an exact replica but a close approximation. It includes kale, tenderized with a lemon vinaigrette,  plus quinoa, toasted sunflower seeds, grapes and Parmesan. It's a nice bitter-sweet-crunchy salad that gets a wonderful lift with a garnish of salty, preserved lemon and nutty Manchego cheese. I crave this salad and I think you will too.

Lemony Kale Salad With Quinoa, Grapes And Manchego Cheese

1/2 c quinoa
1 c vegetable broth or water
4 c "shredded" lacinato kale {*}
1/4 c unsalted, raw sunflower seeds, toasted in a skillet
1 c + 1/4 c green seedless grapes, cut in half lengthwise
1/3 c shredded Parmesan
1.5 oz Manchego cheese, shredded
3 T diced preserved lemon {peel only}
- and for the vinaigrette
4 T lemon juice
5 T olive oil
1/2 t Dijon mustard
1/4 t + 1/8 t salt
1/4 t freshly ground pepper

To make the vinaigrette, whisk all vinaigrette in a bowl. 

Place kale in a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette, using your hands the massage the leaves. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Rinse the quinoa in a fine sieve and drain. Bring quinoa and vegetable broth to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to low and cover, simmering until the broth has been absorbed, 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and leave uncovered to cool.

To the bowl of kale, add the cooled quinoa, grapes, sunflower seeds and Paremsan cheese. Toss well.

To serve, divide salad among plates and sprinkle preserved lemon on top. Add a good pinch of Manchego to the center of each salad.

Serves 4.

{*} Approximately 1 bunch. To "shred" remove tough center stem and slice the leaves width-wise into thin strips {chiffonade}.

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Source:  Jill Crusenberry, inspired by The Misfit

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