Russian Kale is softer and more delicate than the conventional dark curly leafed variety.
It’s great eaten raw as a salad. I like to tame its slightly mustardy bite with something sweet, like roasted golden beets. A slab of herbed goat cheese is the perfect complement to both the beets and the kale.
In addition, I’ve added some warm toasted walnuts, well-seasoned with salt, pepper and agave. Simply toss the walnuts in a dry skillet on low heat until they release their toasty aroma and begin to turn a golden color, then sprinkle with agave to taste, stir, then coat generously with salt and pepper. Turn onto a plate to cool.
Tonight this salad was the perfect first course to our meal of seared scallops, corn salad, and sauteed beet greens with onions (see sauteed swiss chard but substitute beet greens for chard). Expert photography by my friend, Elle.
Russian Kale and Golden Beet Salad
3 small bunches russian kale (approx. 1- 1/4 lb)
10 golden beets with 1″ of stem still attached
1 tbl + 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
2 tbls extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tsps agave
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c toasted walnuts, seasoned as described above
4 oz. herbed goat cheese, sliced into 4 large slabs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash beets and place in 2 foil packets drizzled with a teaspoon each of olive oil. Roast for 1 hour or until tender. While still hot, rub peels off with paper towels and cut in quarters. In a bowl, dress beets with 1/2 tsp vinegar, 1/2 tsp oil and 1/2 tsp agave. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl filled with kale, sprinkle on vinegar, agave, oil, salt and pepper. Toss and taste–add more salt if necessary.
Pile kale onto each plate and arrange beets around it. Place slab of goat cheese on each pile of kale and sprinkle with warm walnuts.