Kale and Pecorino Salad with Walnuts & Sherry-Soaked Raisins

I am always thinking about kale because our family is focused on health, although we sometimes break away for something sweet.  Kale is one of those super healthy foods so I have experimented with many combos of ingredients with kale.  © Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Ingredients

 

1 cup walnut halves and/or pieces, toasted

1/2 cup golden raisins

2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar

1 Tablespoon creme sherry

1 Tablespoon water

1/2 cup Panko crumbs

2 or more (optional) cloves garlic, pressed

Pinch kosher salt (optional)

Pinch black pepper

Pinch chili flakes

1 teaspoon curry powder

4 Tablespoons olive oil

1 bunch Tuscan kale washed and patted dry

2 oz. or 1/2 cup pecorino cheese, grated or ground in a food processor

Zest of 1/2 lemon

Juice of 1/2 lemon

 

Directions

 

Prepare the walnuts:

 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Toast walnuts on a baking sheet for 10 minutes, tossing once. Let cool and coarsely chop.

 

Prepare the raisins:

 

In a small saucepan over low heat, simmer champagne vinegar, water, creme sherry and raisins for 5 minutes, until plump and soft. Set aside in liquid, for as long as you can. (Keep in the liquid)

 

Prepare the crumbs:

 

Toast panko, garlic, curry powder, pinches, pepper, chili flakes and 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a skillet together with a pinch of salt until golden. Set aside.

 

Prepare the kale:

 

1. Trim heavy stems off kale and remove ribs. Stack sections of leaves and roll them into a tube, then cut them into very thin ribbons crosswise.

 

2. Put kale in a large salad bowl. Add the pecorino, walnuts and raisins (leaving any leftover vinegar mixture in dish), remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil and lemon juice and toss until all the kale ribbons are coated. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt, pepper and some of the reserved vinegar mixture from the raisins, if needed. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving, if you can.  This enables all of the lovely flavors to merge.

 

3. Add the Panko crumbs, just before you serve the salad, and toss it one more time.

 

We started with chilled Orvieto, warm Italian bread, olive oil & butter and an antipasto.

 

Next the kale salad with fresh halibut dipped in egg then panko (mixed with curry and parmesan), and quickly cooked in a small amount of olive oil.  For dessert we had spears of fresh mango which we have been eating all week.

 

This weekend we went to MetOpera and saw, Rusalka an opera by Antonin Dvorak.  We love Dvorak, so were looking forward to this.  The role of Rusalka was sung by the Latvian soprano, Kristine Opolais; the role of the Prince was sung by (beautiful) tenor, Brandon Jovanovich from Montana.

 

Below are my two favorite Dvorak compositions; the first is the hauntingly gorgeous First Act aria, “Song to the Moon“ from Rusalka; the second is his magnificent, String Quartet #12 (American).  I’m including one other video, which is a cello rendition of “Song to the Moon“  The cellist is the young, Stjepan Hauser, from Croatia.

 

Kristin Opolais, “Song to the Moon“ Dvorak

 

Stjepan Hauser, cello, “Song to the Moon“ Dvorak

 

 String Quartet #12, “American”

 

A glass of icy Proseco. Joyce Hays, Target Health Inc.

 

Cheers!

 

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