Friday, November 12, 2010

Cucumber Salad with Pan-Seared Kale

I can't help but feel that kale and I have some unfinished business. After my summertime kale saga and subsequent declaration of victory, I pretty much checked kale off a mental list of untried vegetables and have been blithely ignoring it for the most part since. But kale, I suspect, has unplumbed depths. It is more than a risotto ingredient or toast topper. I have not, in short, given kale its due.

Case in point: It can apparently be pan-seared with black sesame seeds and tossed with cucumbers and rice vinegar for a delicious and vaguely Japanese-ish accompaniment to take-out sushi.

2 small or one large cucumber, diced
Seasoned rice vinegar
Olive oil
Black sesame seeds
7-10 leaves dino kale, rinsed, dried, and sliced crosswise into ribbons

Sprinkle the cucumber with rice vinegar, stir, and set in the fridge to chill and crisp for at least 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a little olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add a liberal sprinkling of sesame seeds and stir for 10 seconds or so, then add the kale. Toss with the sesame seeds (I found tongs to be the most useful here) and cook, turning occasionally but not too often, until wilted and just slightly browned or seared. Set aside (or in the fridge) to let it cool to room temperature.

Mix the kale and cucumber together, and serve.

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