Kale RecipesTrending: Kale is Cool
Is kale the new romaine? Like its trendy predecessor, Brussels sprouts, forget any childhood apprehensions. Baby kale’s green softer leaves and mild taste is the perfect first step – try kale tossed with beets and blood orange vinaigrette for a salad that’ll bring the kiss of summer to the polar vortex. Pair the bright salad with salmon in puff pastry, and your dinner party guests will return for seconds, and thirds. Bon appétit.
The baby kale in this salad is joined by sweet red beets, crispy fennel and red onion. Blood orange segments and vinaigrette dress it up with sweet and tart notes, whisking away any winter blues.
Yield: 4 servings
Rinse beets and cut off tops and ends; discard. Place beets in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. On medium high heat bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook beets until a knife pierces the beet easily, about 45–50 minutes. When done, rinse beets under cold water. When cool, remove outer skin of beets under running cool water. Slice beets in half, then thirds; chill. While beets are cooking, rinse fennel bulb and thinly slice. Next, remove the outer skin from red onion, cut in half and thinly slice. Supreme 3 blood oranges. Wash baby kale and pat dry.
Assemble salad: In a large mixing bowl add 5 oz baby kale. Add 3 tablespoons of blood orange vinaigrette and toss gently to cover leaves. Add beets, fennel and red onion. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Add 3 tablespoons of vinaigrette. Gently toss all ingredients.Taste. Adjust kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Divide salad among 4 plates and garnish with blood orange segments. Add an optional surprise crunch with a sprinkling of Marcona almonds.
In a large bowl add the blood orange juice, lemon juice and honey. Using a whisk gradually pour in the extra virgin olive oil to form an emulsion. Season with kosher salt and black pepper, stir. Add green onion, mint and blood orange zest, whisk to incorporate all ingredients. Taste. Adjust kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Place blood orange vinaigrette in a container and refrigerate.
Wrapping the salmon in puff pastry results in a gorgeous presentation that tastes as good as it looks. Baby kale pesto adds a big flavor change to traditional pesto, and an optional pan sauce guarantees additional praises.
Yield: 4 slices
Salmon en croute:
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Defrost the puff pastry over night or at least 2 hours before assembling salmon. Lightly flour a flat surface and roll out the puff pastry dough in the shape of a rectangle 10 by 12 inches. Trim the dough edges with a sharp knife. Pat dry the salmon filet and cut into 2 equal pieces. In the center of the dough rectangle, lightly brush with 1 teaspoon of baby kale pesto, place 1 salmon filet on top of the pesto. Spread 2 heaping tablespoons of kale pesto on top of the salmon filet. Place the second salmon filet gently on top (do not press down on salmon). Lightly brush the top of the salmon filet with 1 teaspoon of kale pesto. Fold the edges of the dough over the top of the salmon filet and crimp the edges. Brush the salmon package with the egg wash. With the back of a knife make cross hatch lines on top of the pastry.
Place the salmon package on a sheet tray in the center of the preheated oven and cook uncovered for about 25 minutes or until the internal temperature with a thermometer reads 130ºF. Remove salmon from oven and let rest 10–15 minutes. Slice into 4 pieces and serve. Spoon optional tarragon lemon pan sauce along side of salmon.
Baby kale pesto:
Place the garlic clove, lemon juice and Marcona almonds in a food processor, pulse a few times. Add the baby kale, kosher salt and black pepper and process until the mixture is chunky. Gradually add the extra virgin olive oil to the mixture until the pesto is incorporated with the almonds. Wipe down the side of the bowl with a spatula if necessary. Add the Parmesan cheese and pulse until the pesto is almost smooth.
Tarragon lemon pan sauce:
In a sauté pan, on medium high heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add garlic and shallots; stir until shallots are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice, kosher salt and black pepper and heat through about 2 minutes. Incorporate tarragon and heat for about 1 minute. Spoon tarragon sauce next to sliced salmon en croute.