For more than a year now, kale has succeeded in holding the titled “prima dona” position of most nutritious vegetable in the current food world. At the moment, no other vegetable has stepped into that position to replace it. Whether one has acquired a taste for kale or just has a natural appetite or appreciation for it, the fact remains that this versatile green is such a rich source of so many valuable nutrients, surpassing even Popeye’s proverbial spinach.
I think it’s obvious that I’m a kale enthusiast and I enjoy it prepared in many different ways. However the first time I heard that kale salad was going to be on the convent dinner menu, I had strong reservations about eating it uncooked and did not look forward to it. When others who sampled it before me started exclaiming over it I was curious to give it a try. One taste led to another and before I knew it I had joined those singing its praise.
The very next day I experimented with my own version of the dish and was amazed at the variations that were possible with this hearty winter salad. Try having fun with it yourself and see what interesting versions you can come up with.
- Pour dressing over 1 bunch (4 cups) finely chopped kale
- Toss well and let set for an hour or two or overnight.
- Stir in desired amount of fruits and vegetables of your choice. I
started off with roasted beets and butternut squash, walnuts and
pomegranate seeds and craisins and liked this combination. The next
time I varied it with fresh raspberries, chopped apples and bacon bits.
Experiment and do whatever combination you most prefer.
I finished hanging up my wet laundry on the clothesline and paused to take in one more moment of this idyllic scene around me before returning to my room. I was on the island of Crete during a Gloriae Dei Cantores choir tour staying at a conference center situated on rocky white cliffs overlooking the bluest water I’ve ever seen. This was, without a doubt one of the nicest accommodations of the trip where we were made to feel so welcomed and at home.
The clothesline we’d been encouraged to use for our handwash was outdoors in the backyard garden of the building. It was fastened to a sturdy lemon tree heavily laden with gorgeous fruit just like the lemon trees under which we had enjoyed our dinner the evening before.
I had grown up savoring the flavors of fresh lemon juice and zest in my food long before it had become as popular as it now is, but never until this moment had it occurred to me why Greeks love and use it as much as they do in their cooking. Now I could clearly see the reason why. These fresh lemon and oregano potatoes are a typical example of the many ways in which these ingredients are regularly used in Greek cooking.
Greek Potatoes with Lemon Vinaigrette
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Put the olive oil, lemon juice, shallots, garlic, oregano, and parsley in a food processor; to blend; season with salt and pepper.
- Toss potatoes with 1/2 cup of the prepared vinaigrette in a large bowl and spread in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Reserve the remaining vinaigrette.
- Roast potatoes until tender and golden brown, 20 – 30 minutes.
- Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with some of the remaining vinaigrette. Season with salt and garnish with the chopped parsley. Serve with the remaining vinaigrette on the side.