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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cold Greens Salad,Greek-Style

  I get a little giddy-up in my step when the colder months arrive in the South. Here in Mississippi we don't have a super cold winter or crazy winter weather every few weeks,so I have to live it up as long as I can. I have two good ol' trusty dutch ovens that get a workout for sure from November to a few weeks after Valentine's Day. Soups,stews and chili are always one the wekly menu but also an annual classic that is whipped up in the colder months: various types of stock.

       Chicken stock,beef stock and vegetable stock are a must. Over the years I have minimized my steps and stepped up my ingredients. One of my most favorite people on the planet Julia Child always made a point to remind the at-home cook to keep leftover vegetable scraps handy for stock recipes. The homemade stocks always taste better because not only is there so much love put into it,it's real food made by YOU.

    Kale makes a fine,fresh change of pace on a weeknight salad. Kale stems make fine vegetable stock additions to be used soon,very soon. We got a CSA share this past fall that included some beautiful cruciferous vegetables. I have been kicking myself for not remembering what my pal Julia said keeping vegetable scraps.
Soooo better late than never AND my weeknight kale salad also was my addition to the January Potluck over at I Heart Cooking Clubs . Mark Bittman is one of my favorites. Soooo is  Ina Garten. The opportunity to combine two recipes from two of my favorites cooks was too good to pass up. The theme as always for each month's potluck is to make a recipe from and write about it,one of our past featured chefs or our current featured chef,Diana Henry.

    The main course for this past Wednesday evening's dinner was slow-cooker lemon garlic chicken and we needed a lighter,fresh side that was a tiny bit on the healthy-er side. I am in love with greens these days, so kale it was. I grabbed my trusty,beat-up,dog-eared-pages copy of Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything. Flipped over to the index,search  and think-search and think-...

Mr. Bittman's recipe for Cold Cooked Greens,Greek Style hollered my name,but OF COURSE I can't leave well enough alone.I'm a cook,avid cooker and sometimes thinker. I can't help myself. So after a review of my produce drawer ingredients,scan for vinaigrette ingredients and a little recall of technique from a good friend ( AND health and wellness coach!!!! ), I was off to make a delicious healthy-er side dish.
( On a side note my 2 1/2 year old LOVED this salad. #mayneverhappenagain SCORE!)
Cold Greens Salad,Greek-Style
Adapted from Mark Bittman
1-2 lbs dark leafy greens,such as collards,
kale or mustard greens
juice of half a lemon
pinch of kosher salt
1/2 c pitted and chopped kalamatta olives
4 -ounce container crumbled feta
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp minced,fresh garlic
3 TBL champagne vinegar
(I've used white wine and balsamic vinegar
  in place of champagne.)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c good olive oil
For the SALAD- Remove the stems,chop the greens into strips and wash the greens well. ( Here comes the genius tip) Put washed,chopped greens in a large bowl. Toss gently with the lemon juice ans kosher salt. Now massage the kale and watch that big pile reduce down to a manageable pile of greens. Add the kalamatta olives and feta. 
In a medium size bowl,whisk together the first four ingredients.Next while whisking continuously,stream in the olive oil. This step will emulsify the dressing and make it taste so good!  OR add all of the dressing ingredients in a pint mason jar and shake the life out of it. DONE!
NOW Toss salad ingredietnts with your fancy dressing and enjoy a salad that gets better with a few days age. Enjoy!


  1. Such a healthy and delicious dish! I have not tried kale before, a veggie that is not available over here.
    I like everything about this dish, from the olives to the vinaigrette. Sounds good!
    Great that your toddler loves this veggie dish!

  2. This is a deliciously healthy looking salad - sounds like the perfect accompaniment for lemony garlicy chicken, and toddler appeal is an added bonus.

  3. I love the bold flavours in this salad and that method of "wilting" the greens without cooking them is genius. Kale is a favourite around here so I'll have to give this one a try.

  4. That sounds seriously tasty! and would make me feel so healthy!

  5. I am a big fan of kale salads and I love the Greek-style ingredients in this one. Healthy and delicious is my favorite kind of recipe! ;-)

  6. Oh yummy....two of my loves (kale and feta)! It has been far too long since I have cooked with Mr. Bittman and you have inspired me to get back into the kitchen with him. This looks to die for!