Warm Kale and Coconut Salad

Surprise surprise, I bought another cookbook.  As much as I love getting recipes and inspiration online, there is nothing quite like the feeling of getting a brand new cookbook.  I can sit and read a cookbook like a novel, much like my mom in this respect.  She has a marvelous collection and if I’m lucky maybe someday I will inherit it (woah enter morbid thoughts.)  But I digress, my newest culinary literary treasure is Super Natural Everyday by Heidi Swanson, the woman behind the uber popular food blog 101 Cookbooks.  It is a beautiful read.  She makes the kind of food I want to eat on a regular basis but don’t necessarily think to make for myself at home.  She combines flavors in a completely different way than I would ever even dream of.  For instance, she makes a ravioli salad with cilantro pesto (looks amazing) and a kale salad with coconut which I made today.  I love finding new ways to enjoy kale.  This recipe might seem a little odd at first glance…the whole kale + coconut thing seemed strange to me at first…but it really was quite tasty and I would definitely make it again.  And that’s saying something.

Warm Kale and Coconut Salad 

I tweaked a couple of the measurements in her recipe mostly because I had a big bunch of kale that I wanted to use up.  And her 3 1/2 cups kale to 1 1/2 cups coconut was a bit too heavy on the coconut for me so I held back a little.

Serves 4

You’ll need:

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 6 lightly packed cups chopped kale, stems trimmed, large ribs removed
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened large-flake dried coconut
  • 2 cups cooked barley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with two racks in the top third of the oven.  In a small jar, shake together the olive oil, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Put the kale and coconut in a large bowl and toss well with about two-thirds of the olive oil mixture.  Spread the kale evenly across two baking sheets.  Bake for 12 to 18 minutes, until the coconut is deeply golden brown, tossing once or twice along the way.  If the kale mixture on the top baking sheet begins to get too browned, move it to the lower rack.  Remove from the oven and transfer the kale mixture to a medium bowl.  Taste for seasoning.  If you feel it needs a bit more dressing, add some and toss. Place the barley on a serving platter and top with the tossed kale. Serve warm.

Recipe adapted from Kale Salad recipe in Heidi Swanson’s cookbook Super Natural Every Day.

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