Today on Twitter I joked with someone that I was determined to turn kale into a dessert or a pony; its transformative and adaptive properties are that miraculous. When I embarked on this challenge — a month free of refined sugars, flours and dairy — I went a little mad in the grocery store, stocking my cart with foreign foodstuffs. After the high subsided I stared at my container of lentils and wondered…Okay, how do I cook lentils??? After a long search (I’m noticing a pattern of an increased amount of recipe research this week), I discovered a kale lentil salad on one of my favorite sites, Food52.
You’ll love this dish because the protein-packed lentils make this extremely filling, and the mango preserves render a certain sweetness that borders on the exotic. It’s a cinch to make and it keeps well in the fridge.
Next week witness as I transform kale into a PUDDING. J/K!
INGREDIENTS (Recipe adapted from Well and Good NYC)
2 bunches curly kale, center ribs and stems removed, washed, dried, and chopped finely
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup mango preserves
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 pinch black pepper
1 cup beluga lentils, (substitute brown lentils if they’re what you have), rinsed and picked over
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
Whisk together olive oil, mango preserves (the original recipe called for apricot, but I love the sweetness of mangos juxtaposed to the bitter, cruciferous green), apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
Turn kale into a large mixing bowl, and massage 6 tsp of the dressing into the salad. You’ll need enough dressing for the salad to be well coated and start taking on a “wilted” texture. Set aside.
Place lentils in a small saucepan with enough water to cover them by 3-4 inches (approximately 2 1/2 cups). Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat, add a pinch of salt, and let the lentils simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are al dente.
Allow lentils to cool slightly and add them, along with the cabbage, to the kale, and add another 2 tsp vinaigrette. Use hands to combine. Add extra dressing as needed, and season to taste.