Friday, August 3, 2012

Disaster Area

Holy moly, making this recipe was a total shit show!

It may partially be my fault. Despite arriving home an hour later then expected, I decided that going to an 8:00 Boot Camp class at the gym would still leave me plenty of time to make this recipe and enjoy the rest of my evening. Have I mentioned I'm my father's daughter and that the concept of time is something that frequently eludes us?

When I returned home from the gym, I started working on what was initially called a Kale-Farro Market Salad. Until I realized I had no farro.

Actually, let me correct myself.

Until I realized that I couldn't tell which bag of grain, out of the many, many bags of grains we have in our cupboards, was actually farro. Was it this one? No. How about that one? Maybe. It got so bad that I woke Jerry for his "expert" advice. To which he responded that every single bag I presented was filled with barley. I don't think he wanted to play my game.

After I scoured the internet, comparing each little grainlet to Google Images, I decided to just give up and make what was actually identifiable as barley. But it was hulled barley. Which means that it takes over an hour to cook. Well, I just wasn't feeling up to waiting a WHOLE hour for barley to cook. I figured I'd use my trusty pressure cooker.

Which cooked nothing.

After 45 minutes of listening to the pressure cooker gauge lock and unlock, I gave up on that as well and decided to pour the whole thing into a pot and cook it the good ol' fashion way. I'm not sure how, but it seemed to take a full two and half hours to cook this barley that should have been done in an hour.

While the barley cooked, I prepped the other ingredients for the salad. Kale was the star for this one. I picked up Tuscan Kale at the farmer's market and was so excited to use it. Until I tasted it. And had to stop myself for spitting it out. How is this possible? How are there millions of kale salad recipes out there yet I manage to pick out the one variety of kale that tastes like varnish?!

Again, I went back to my old reliable Google and searched "how to make raw kale not taste like ass?" Apparently, you need to be gentle with your kale and give it a good rub. Massage your kale to help break down the watchmacallits and speed up the somethingtechnical process to reduce its bitterness.

I was ready to do a striptease for this friggin' kale if it meant salvaging this disaster of a salad.

Ridiculous long story short....this salad was really good! I've eaten three times.

Try it for yourself.

Kale-Barley Market Salad

by Bonnie Graham
Keywords: food processor salad vegetarian kale grain nuts carrots

    Salad Ingredients:
    • 1/2 bunch kale, destemmed, torn into pieces
    • 1 cup cooked barley
    • 4-5 farmers' market carrots, very thinly sliced
    • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
    • 1 avocado, cut into small cubes
    • a big handful of toasted, slivered almonds
    Green Garlic Dressing Ingredients:
    • 2 stalks scallions, rinsed and chopped
    • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste
    • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons ripe avocado
    • 1 teaspoon honey, or to taste
    • fresh pepper to taste
    1. Puree the scallions, salt, lemon juice, olive oil, avocado, honey, and pepper until smooth in a food processor. Adjust seasonings to taste.
    2. Combine the kale with about half of the dressing in a large bowl use your hands to work the dressing into the kale, softening up the kale a bit in the process.
    3. Add the barley, carrots, and celery, more dressing, and a couple pinches of salt, and toss again. Taste.
    4. Add the avocados and almonds. Give one last toss.
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