Kale Salad with Gouda, Pear, and Walnuts: Monday Night Martha

Sorry people - salad again. We've always felt like our salad repertoire was just well, sad. So for the sake of personal improvement we've decided to work on it. Also - meager little confession - we want to eat more kale. 

Here's the thing about kale -- It makes us feel like we're doing something good for ourselves when we eat it. It's the anti-cheeseburger if you will. 

In fact, one of our favorite things to do for a fast supper is prepare kale crostini -- by taking some kale and sautéing it with olive oil in a pan and throwing in some red pepper flake and either a little chicken broth or white wine, then covering and letting the kale simmer until tender. Serve it on top of some toasted baguette slices, maybe throw on a little goat cheese if you have it, and bam! It's quick and no matter how many times we eat it, we don't tire of it. Why, even my kid will eat it. The kale gets so sweet and supple. 

With that in mind, we decide to look for more kale options and we find Martha's recipe for Raw Kale Salad with Gouda, Pear, and Walnuts

To make this salad, take one bunch of kale and remove the tough stems, then tear the leaves into bite size pieces. Next add 2 ½ ounces goats' milk Gouda cheese cut into ¼ inch to ½ inch pieces, some chives cut into inch lengths, a ½ cup of walnuts, and thinly sliced Anjou pear. (We didn't have a ripe pear on hand, so we substituted with a crisp apple in its place). For cutting the apple nice and super-thin don't even get me started on the love felt for a mandoline slicer. How did we ever live without one? 

The dressing couldn't be easier it's just a tablespoon of sherry vinegar, a tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. The curly nutritious kale is high in beta-carotene, vitamin C and antioxidants - and it's cheerful looking. 

The salad was delicious. The Gouda and apple, when eaten together, formed a serious pair bond that kept being sought out by the fork. But here's the thing about raw kale -- it's hearty, not exactly supple. So be prepared to chew. We found ourselves being more conscious of chewing while we were eating this salad. But aren't we supposed to slow down and chew food anyway? Look for Russian kale when making this salad, as it is more likely to be tender and less bitter. 

Unless of course, you want to massage your kale -- which is always an option. For more on that we direct your attention to this cute blog: I heart Kale. So nice to know we are not alone.

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