Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad

The perfect weekend recovery food!

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

This Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad is a perfect, healthy, filling meal if I ever saw one, and it’s oh so delicious. If any of you had a weekend like I had, you’re definitely ready to whip this up with your favorite lean protein for dinner tonight.


As I mentioned on Friday, we were up in Santa Cruz visiting my parents this weekend, which also happened to involve helping my little sis move into her new house and having an early Sunday birthday brunch for me. All of the family affairs, celebrations and craziness never make for the healthiest eating, but I never restrict myself (everything in moderation!) and just make sure to eat extra-healthy in the days leading up to and following all of the madness. That’s what balanced living is all about!

So when we rolled back into town late last night, all I wanted was a big bowl of whole grains and veggies. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any of this Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad sitting around in the fridge, so we had to settle with takeout. Not necessarily the healthiest of options (although we still try to get a well-balanced meal even when we order out) but we knew we’d get right back in the groove of healthy eating today. Smoothies for breakfast, salads for lunch. You get the idea! This should last all of two days since my birthday is on Wednesday, but we only live once, right?

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

It’s no secret that ever since I tried the most delicious grain salad in Napa, I have been obsessed with the idea of them. It was way back in May of last year that I made this Herbed Grain Salad with Broccoli Rabe and White Beans, so I figured now that we’re having some warmer “salad-friendly” weather here in California, it was high time for me to come up with another fun version featuring some of spring’s freshest produce. I’m very happy to say that this Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad is not going to let you down and, even better, if you don’t love butter as much as I do, you can easily make this dish vegan!

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

So let’s get down to the dirty details. First of all, if you live anywhere near a Trader Joe’s, you’re already in great shape. I got all of my ingredients for this salad there, except for the lemons because we have an abundance of them growing in our yard at the moment. That being said, you really shouldn’t have any trouble getting these ingredients at just-your-average grocery store, TJ’s just makes it soooo convenient.

I started out by sautéing some fresh leeks and garlic in a healthy dose of butter. It may seem like a lot at first, but keep in mind that we’re adding much more to this dish than just leeks and garlic, and all of those extra ingredients mean we need all of that extra butter. BUT, if you are trying to be uber-healthy or if you follow a vegan diet, you can swap in good ol’ coconut oil and this salad will still turn out amazing. Promise.

After our leeks and garlic have started sweating it out a bit, we add some fresh corn kernels. If you don’t happen to live in an area where you can get fresh corn year round, frozen kernels would also work just fine.

The corn kernels are followed by our cooked, shelled edamame, which Trader Joe’s conveniently sells prepped and ready to go in their produce section. Again, if you don’t have access to these, a frozen bag of shelled edamame would work just fine. Just be sure they’re already cooked!

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

The final steps are to throw in some pre-cooked barley (a great thing to meal prep on the weekends and throw into healthy meals all week) and some snipped fresh chives. The only sort of dressing that graces our salad is the aforementioned butter and a hefty dose of fresh lemon juice. I do want to mention one thing about the ¼ cup quantity I’ve called for here: we have Meyer lemons in our backyard, which tend to be more sweet and less tart than your average lemons. That being said, if you are using standard lemons, you may want to dial it back just a tad. Just remember to taste as you go and balance the acidity out with the salt. You’ll do just fine!

This Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad is full of filling carbohydrates (which I know some of you colder-weather readers are still totally craving right now) yet plenty of fresh, vibrant produce to remind us that spring is just around the corner. It comes together in under 20 minutes and tastes just as good hot or cold, making it perfect to have on hand for any situation that requires a healthy meal ASAP. It’s quickly become another go-to of mine and I hope it will soon become one of yours too!

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

This hearty and healthy grain salad is the perfect dish to usher in warmer weather - loaded with filling carbohydrates and vibrant produce, enjoy it alone or with your favorite lean protein!

Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or coconut oil, for vegan version)
  • 1 trimmed leek, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 cups corn kernels (about 2 small ears)
  • 1 1/2 cups shelled, cooked edamame
  • 2 cups cooked barley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (or to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Melt butter or coconut oil in a deep saute pan over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes, until leeks begin to sweat and become fragrant. Add corn kernels and turn heat up to medium-high.

  2. Let corn kernels cook for another 3 minutes, then add edamame. Let cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the corn and edamame begin to get golden flecks on their skins (a slight char.)

  3. Turn heat back down to medium and add barley and chives. Stir to combine.

  4. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper (tasting as you go) until you’ve achieved your desired level of balanced flavors. Serve warm or cold. 

Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad | CaliGirlCooking.com

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch!

**Author’s Note: You may notice that this girl-powered post is coming to you a day later than my usual weekly posting schedule. We had originally planned to post our Spring Fling Brunch on Wednesday, March 8, but then discovered that many of the ladies in our lives (coworkers, friends, family, etc.) were participating in A Day Without a Woman. After some deliberation, we decided to postpone our posts until Thursday to show our support for all females and gender-oppressed individuals. As always, I so appreciate your support for me and so many of my fellow bloggers and lady entrepreneurs. I hope you enjoy reading about our brunch just as much as we enjoyed throwing it!

I told you this was going to be a fun week!

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com


I am so excited for today’s post because it has been a long time coming. I’ve mentioned it before, but I truly feel so fortunate to have met so many amazing lady entrepreneurs IRL in my small little community of Santa Barbara. I’ve met fellow bloggers, freelancers, small-business owners, you name it. I’ve enjoyed interacting with every single person I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with, and have learned so much by having this diverse sounding board to bounce ideas off of, ask for advice, etc.

Way back in November, my fellow blogging babes, Hana-Lee from Wander and Wine and Becky from Baking the Goods, and I started throwing around the idea of a collaboration brunch. We all have such unique niches when it comes to our blogs (Hana-Lee focuses on wine and travel, while Becky’s the baker and I’m the cook with a side of mixology) that we thought it would be a great opportunity to play off of each other’s strengths and introduce our readers to all of the fantastic things everyone is doing in their own little corner of the Interwebs.

Well, after much rescheduling and the craziness of the holidays, we were finally able to pull it off. The result was a super fun and festive Spring Fling Brunch we held on a beautifully sunny day last week. I whipped up this hearty Breakfast Panzanella, while Becky brought a stunning Ricotta, Potato & Spring Pea Galette and, of course, Hana-Lee brought the wine. We were also able to get some of our other local lady entrepreneurs involved – Vanessa from Garibaldi Goods provided her over-the-top delicious homemade bread (and some jam, of course!), Amy from Bright Inc. provided the beautiful flower arrangements, and Alison from Sugar Cat Studio whipped up some brunch-themed cupcakes. Be sure to check out all of their blogs/websites/businesses because they are all amazing and work their little tushes off to turn out some amazing products. So fun!

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com

Let me just tell you, starting the photo shoot for this brunch at 12pm was pure torture. We did so in order to capture the best lighting, but by the end of our almost two-hour shoot, all of our stomachs were audibly growling because all of the food looked (and smelled) so good! Don’t worry, we were sure to taste everything afterwards because, you know, quality control.

When we decided to give our brunch a spring theme, my mind immediately turned to creating a dish that was full of incredibly fresh ingredients (hello, warmer weather) yet hearty enough to not shock our systems too much after a season of all of those comforting winter foods. I knew a Breakfast Panzanella would go perfectly with the Spring Fling theme and set about making a version loaded with two of my favorite breakfast items – bacon and eggs, of course!

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’m sure you’ve had (or at least heard of) the classic version of panzanella before, which generally consists of cubes of crusty bread, fresh basil and tomatoes, and some sort of dressing involving olive oil, vinegar, shallots and capers. For my Breakfast Panzanella, I omitted the capers in the dressing (I’m not the hugest fan) and of course added bacon and eggs, plus some fresh mozzarella, because CHEESE.

What resulted was a perfectly balanced salad – the basil and tomatoes are a reminder that warmer weather is just around the corner, while the crusty bread gives the dish that hominess we still crave during this transition between the seasons. This Breakfast Panzanella is also loaded with protein from the eggs, bacon and mozzarella, so it will fill you up and give you a nice solid base for all of that wine you’ll be drinking.

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com

This salad also comes together in almost no time at all. You can toast the bread cubes and cook the bacon the night before, which means you’ll be able to sleep in approximately 15 minutes more before you have to roll out of bed to scramble up some eggs and whisk together the dressing. What’s left after that is simply tossing everything together in one big bowl and garnishing with some fresh basil! If this Breakfast Panzanella isn’t the perfect brunch dish, I don’t know what is.

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com

My recommendation to you? Call up some of your girlfriends STAT and set a date for a Spring Fling Brunch of your own. Then head on over to my gal pals’ blog posts for all of the other deets you’ll need to make it a smashing success.

For the recipe for Becky’s Ricotta, Potato & Spring Pea Galette, head on over to Baking the Goods.

For all of Hana-Lee’s wine recommendations and pairing notes, head on over to Wander and Wine.

And be sure to check out all of the other ladies’ sites as well for further inspiration!

Bright Inc. for all of your floral inspiration,

Sugar Cat Studio to grab some tasty cupcake mixes,

and Garibaldi Goods for small-batch artisan foods from local California producers.

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com

Breakfast Panzanella + a Spring Fling Brunch! | CaliGirlCooking.com
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Breakfast Panzanella
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

The classic Italian bread salad gets a morning makeover with the addition of bacon and eggs. The perfect dish for a spring-themed brunch!

Course: Breakfast
Servings: 4 people
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the salad:
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 6-8 basil leaves, plus 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 5 cups cubed crusty sourdough (about 1/2 of a large loaf)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 8 ounces ciliegine (baby mozzarella balls)
  • 3 eggs, scrambled
For the vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon in a large saute pan over medium heat. Once bacon is cooked, remove to a plate lined with a paper towel. Do not dispose of the bacon grease in the pan!

  2. Add 6-8 basil leaves to the saute pan with the bacon grease in it (still on medium heat) and then add the bread cubes. Toast, tossing to coat, until all of the cubes are golden brown. If the cubes seem dry, drizzle on a little olive oil as they continue to toast. You may notice that the basil gets crispy and crumbly as it cooks along with the bread, this is okay! The little bits of basil will add some additional flavor to the salad once it’s done. Once the bread cubes are nice and toasted, spread out on some parchment paper to dry out and cool completely.

  3. Next, mix up the vinaigrette. Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients by shaking in a Mason jar or whisking vigorously in a small bowl. Set aside.

  4. Place the cooled bread cubes in a large bowl. Chop up the now cooled bacon and add it to the bowl as well, along with the ½ cup of chopped fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, ciliegine and scrambled eggs. 

  5. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat evenly. Garnish with additional chopped basil, if desired. 

 

Chilled Shrimp and Fennel Salad with Tangy Crema

We’re just going to make it a Canada-themed week.

Chilled Shrimp and Fennel Salad with Tangy Crema | CaliGirlCooking.com

Sound good? It was Boxing Day on Monday, after all. Did anybody else hit the crazy good sale at Lululemon? I’m not sure if they did it at all of their stores, but we have a Lululemon Outlet near my parents’ house and, boy, was I glad my mom still wanted to treat me to some “Christmas presents.” I pretty much cleaned up and will not be needing any other sort of workout/athleisure wear in the near future.


But I digress. The real reason I’m here today is to tell you about this Chilled Shrimp and Fennel Salad with Tangy Crema. It’s my take on one of my favorite things my girlfriend and I tasted on our trip to Quebec City earlier this month, and it is sooooo delicious!

We actually came across the restaurant we had this at by accident, after the place we were planning on going to had no availability for that night. The host at that restaurant recommended that we head to this one down the street, which is how we ended up at Le Renard et La Chouette. This place was legit FRENCH, and Johanna and I were a bit overwhelmed by the menu. We quickly decided on the Chef’s Tasting Menu so that the decision was left up to him rather than us.

Chilled Shrimp and Fennel Salad with Tangy Crema | CaliGirlCooking.com

Our first course consisted of sautéed mushrooms with smoked salmon and garlic cream plus an amazing cold shrimp salad with fennel, radish, horseradish cream and pistachios. I immediately fell in love with both and knew I had to try to recreate them at home. This Chilled Shrimp and Fennel Salad with Tangy Crema is my take on that second dish, and boy, am I proud of it! I’m so excited I took good notes because this dish is spot. on.

I initially wanted to do everything from scratch (naturally) but after the first round of uncooked shrimp I bought from the store smelled a little funny, I decided to go to a more respectable grocer in my area and just purchase the pre-cooked stuff. I also realize that this is probably the preference of most of you readers out there and that not everyone likes to make EVERYTHING from scratch.

Chilled Shrimp and Fennel Salad with Tangy Crema | CaliGirlCooking.com

So, we take our pre-cooked, thawed shrimp, remove the tails and cut into bite-size pieces. We don’t want any de-tailing to get in the way of our rapid consumption of this scrumptious salad.

We then toss the shrimp with all the goodies: radish, fennel, fresh chives and fennel fronds, pistachios….Guys, the pistachios are really the icing on the cake (or the topping on the salad?) here. They MAKE the dish.

And the crema, ohhhhhh the crema. We can’t forget you. I have to admit, not being a huge horseradish lover, I was a bit hesitant when the words “horseradish cream” came out of the Chef’s mouth during his presentation. But I have to tell you that it complements all of the flavors in this dish just perfectly and I promise you won’t even be able to tell it’s horseradish in there giving the crema it’s tang.

Because I was obviously all about the shortcuts for this recipe (the madness of the holidays will do that to you) I decided to make my “crema” out of plain Greek yogurt. I also added some lemon juice to up the “tang” factor without upping the horseradish flavor. You’re welcome.

Chilled Shrimp and Fennel Salad with Tangy Crema | CaliGirlCooking.com

This dish is amazing because it is quick and easy, but anyone you serve it to will no doubt be impressed. There are so many unique flavors that come together to create a healthy, easy dish, I think it would be the perfect addition to your New Year’s Eve (or Day!) spread. It’s also a perfect complement to champagne (or just about any white wine for that matter) and will provide a solid base layer for all of your other indulgences that night 😉

I’m at my parents’ for the week mixing up work and play, and loving all of this quality time I get to spend with them. I hope you are having (or got to have) some quality time with all of your loved ones over this holiday season. Stay tuned for a super-fun Canadian-themed cocktail coming up on Friday. It’s for sure one for the books!

Chilled Shrimp and Fennel Salad with Tangy Crema | CaliGirlCooking.com

Chilled Shrimp and Fennel Salad with Tangy Crema | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Chilled Shrimp and Fennel Salad with Tangy Crema
Prep Time
15 mins
 

A light, refreshing salad full of chilled shrimp, crunchy fennel, radishes and pistachios, and tons of fresh herbs, all tossed in a tangy crema dressing with hints of lemon juice and horseradish.

Course: Main Course
Servings: 4 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 pound cooked medium shrimp, tails removed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 of a fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pistachio nutmeats, toasted
  • 2 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon horseradish
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the shrimp, fennel bulb, pistachios, radishes, 2 tablespoons fresh chives and fennel fronds.

  2. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, horseradish and salt. Pour this dressing onto the shrimp salad and toss to combine. Top with more chopped fresh chives to serve.

Chilled Shrimp and Fennel Salad with Tangy Crema | CaliGirlCooking.com

 

Cheers to a healthy and Happy New Year!

Fall Kale Salad with Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette

I want alllll the fall veggies.

Fall Kale Salad with Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette | CaliGirlCooking.com

More particularly, I want all the fall veggies in the form of this Fall Kale Salad with Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette. By now you all should know that I clearly have an obsession with seasonal, of-the-moment kale salads. I started out the year with my Winter Kale Salad, back in January, then in April we had my Spring Kale Salad with Honey-Tahini Dressing. Of course by then I had to hit all of the seasons, so in July I brought you my Summer Kale Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette, and now it’s time for this fall version to shine.


Yea, yea, kale’s been the “it” superfood for a while, and I’m well aware that some say they can’t come around to kale salads because of kale’s toughness and heartiness, but friends, let me tell you, just accept the kale for what it is. You see, kale’s resiliency means that it can beautifully absorb any dressing, if just given a little bit of time. I, for one, LOVE kale salads because I can prep them the night or morning before I plan to eat them (dressing and all) and they won’t be a wilted pile of nothing by the time I get around to eating them.

In fact, IMHO, kale salads just get better with age, and this Fall Kale Salad with Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette is no exception. An overnight sit (or even just a few hours) really allows the dressing to not only soak into the kale, but it also allows all of the other ingredients in this delicious dish to meld together, a perfect balance of salty, hearty and sweet.

Fall Kale Salad with Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette | CaliGirlCooking.com

So by now I bet you’re wondering, what exactly makes this kale salad a FALL Kale Salad? And to that I reply “Ohhhhh so many things.”

First and foremost, acorn squash. We give this fantastic source of Vitamin C a little roast in the oven (skin and all!) first, because now that it’s fall we can actually turn on our oven for a bit without overheating our entire house.

Fall Kale Salad with Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette | CaliGirlCooking.com

Secondly, BACON. Being the bacon-lover that I am, I see this as a fairly integral part of this dish for the crunchy little bites of saltiness it adds to the mix, but if you want to keep it vegetarian or vegan, feel free to (a) leave it out or (b) throw in some coconut bacon (speaking of, does anyone have a good recipe for this? I’ve been dying to try it.)

Thirdly, sliced Brussels sprouts. But there aren’t just ANY Brussels sprouts, my friends. These receive a glorious little pan fry in the leftover grease from cooking the bacon. Don’t think about it, just do it. You won’t regret it.

Fall Kale Salad with Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette | CaliGirlCooking.com

Now it’s about time to add in that little bit of sweetness to really give this Fall Kale Salad the ultimate flavor balance. Enter, persimmons! Yes, it’s that time of year and this fairly-recent-lover of the antioxidant-packed fruit couldn’t be more excited. Before making this salad, I’d only enjoyed persimmons fully pulverized into a puree and baked in my MIL’s famous Persimmon Cookies, but when I saw them at the Farmer’s Market this early in the season, I just had to have them. The farmer selling them assured me they were perfectly good to eat as hard and crunchy as they were and, boy, was he right! I eagerly tossed some sliced persimmon into the mix.

We also add some small slices of fresh shallots to give the dish a little pop. I love adding these small bursts of flavor to my salads (much like fresh herbs!) because they really add that extra dimension and take it from “just a salad” to amazingness.

Finally, because I can’t NOT put nuts into my salads, I threw in some toasted walnuts. You could also use pecans, but we do that quite frequently here in our household and I wanted to throw in something a little special and different. Plus, my hubby likes eating them for his heart health (so cute.) It’s a win-win!

We toss all of this goodness with a super-easy, four-ingredient balsamic vinaigrette. We’re talking olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Incredibly basic, I know, but in all honesty it’s how we enjoy most of our salads, so I figured, why not?

Lastly, we cannot call this Fall Kale Salad with Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette complete without a little shaving of Pecorino Romano over top. That’s it! So easy, and so delicious.

Fall Kale Salad with Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette | CaliGirlCooking.com

This is exactly the type of meal the hubs and I like to eat on a Monday night. I don’t know about you, but we often take Monday as our day to detox and reset after what are frequently weekends of indulgence. It’s a great way to get back to our balanced lifestyle after a couple of days of fun, and sets us up for a great rest of our week.

So get thee to a supermarket (or better, Farmer’s Market) and snatch up all of these seasonal, delicious Fall Kale Salad ingredients before they’re gone for another year. Remember, don’t be afraid to make the salad a couple of hours (or even a day) early to really let the kale marinate in the dressing and allow the flavors to come together. Let’s start this week off healthy, delicious and feeling good! XO

Fall Kale Salad with Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette | CaliGirlCooking.com

Fall Kale Salad with Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette

25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

A delicious kale salad showcasing the best ingredients of fall, tossed with an easy balsamic vinaigrette.

Ingredients

    For the salad:
  • 1 acorn squash, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 1 cup sliced Brussels sprouts
  • 1 large bunch kale, de-stemmed and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 persimmon, cut into quarters and then thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup walnut pieces, toasted
  • 2-3 ounces thinly shaved Pecorino Romano
    For the vinaigrette:
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. First, roast the acorn squash. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place acorn squash slices on a jelly roll pan lined with aluminum foil. Season squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place pan in oven and roast for 10-15 minutes (flipping squash slices after about 7 minutes), until squash is golden and tender to the touch.
  2. Next, cook the bacon. Place bacon slices in a large saute pan over medium-high heat and cook until browned and slightly crispy, flipping halfway. Place cooked bacon on a small plate lined with a paper towel to drain. Once cooled, chop the bacon into small pieces.
  3. Using the same pan you cooked the bacon in, pan fry the Brussels sprouts. Keep the saute pan on medium heat (do not wipe out the bacon grease) and cook the Brussels sprouts until golden on all sides. Turn off heat and set aside.
  4. Place the chopped kale in a large bowl. Add the acorn squash, chopped bacon, and Brussels sprouts. Next, add the persimmon, shallot and walnuts.
  5. In a small bowl, mix all of the vinaigrette ingredients together using a whisk or fork. Pour vinaigrette over the salad and toss to combine. For best results, let salad sit in refrigerator for a few hours before serving.
  6. Shave Pecorino Romano on top of salad before serving.

Notes

Wine Pairing Notes: The beauty of kale is that it's hearty enough to stand up to fuller bodied wines. This salad will pair just as well with an oaked Chardonnay as it will with a light, juicy Pinot Noir.

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Fall Kale Salad with Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette | CaliGirlCooking.com

Here’s to our health!

Summer Kale Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette

It’s sweet, sweet summertime and the produce is easy.

Summer Kale Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette | CaliGirl Cooking

Easy to make a delicious Summer Kale Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette out of! Summer has nearly reached its peak, which means it’s time for me to continue keeping my promise of delivering a delicious kale salad for every season. If you’ve been following along for a little while, you’ll be quite familiar with my love for ALL salads made out of this leafy, fibrous green. I made this Winter Kale Salad back in January, filled with pomegranates, almonds and yummy root vegetables, and in April I whipped together this tasty Spring Kale Salad with Honey-Tahini Dressing, featuring all the green things.


Some may say kale has reached its peak, but I beg to differ. Kale is such a huge nutritional powerhouse that I’m confident it will be a fixture in healthy food fiends’ diets for years to come. After all, how can you turn down something so good (and so good for you?) There are endless possibilities with kale, and you can bet you’ll be seeing a lot more recipes popping up here starring this delicious superfood.

Summer Kale Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette | CaliGirl Cooking

So, what fruits and veggies made the cut for this Summer Kale Salad? Let’s see here. We roasted up some beets as well as one of my FAVORITE summer season vegetables – padron peppers! Seriously, I can never get enough of them. Well, maybe that one time I ate an entire bowl to myself in one sitting, but I made a quick recovery after the heartburn passed the next day. You have to when these tasty bites are only available for a few months out of the year! I also had to throw in some nicely sautéed corn, because corn = summertime. Same goes for fresh peaches and heirloom tomatoes. We want them anyway we can get them while the getting’s hot.

Even though this kale salad is full of lots of big flavor, I’d be remiss in not mentioning some of the little things that really take this salad from “good” to “amazing!” We’re talking green onions, shallots, goat cheese and macadamia nuts. They seem like little, meaningless touches but they pack a HUGE punch. Trust me on this one.

Summer Kale Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette | CaliGirl Cooking

Finally, we finish everything off with a tangy grapefruit vinaigrette, which is simply fresh grapefruit juice, olive oil, oregano and the usual salt and pepper. So easy! You hardly need to call it a dressing. Maybe an accoutrement?

One thing I absolutely love about kale salads is that they hold up well (and tend to get even better) over time. You’ll notice a huge difference between a freshly dressed kale salad and one that’s been marinating in its dressing overnight. And, if you’re into meal prep, you’ll find that this kale salad is the perfect dish to add to your weekly rotation. Prep extra beets, corn and peppers to use in grain salads, as side dishes with simple grilled chicken, or even as quick and easy snacks on their own.

Finally, feel free to use some creative license here. This Summer Kale Salad is completely adaptable, so feel free to swap in different fruits or vegetables. Sometimes it’s best to just see what your local Farmer’s Market is showing off that week.

Summer Kale Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette | CaliGirl Cooking

 

Basically, you have no reason not to run and make this Summer Kale Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette this week. Healthy, so tasty and full of nutrients…What’s not to love?

Summer Kale Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette

15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: Makes 4 servings

This hearty kale salad features some of the best summer produce and a tangy grapefruit vinaigrette.

Ingredients

    For the salad:
  • 2 beets, peeled and diced
  • 6 ounces padron peppers, stems removed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch kale, cut off the rib and chopped into bite-size pieces
  • 1 small shallot, sliced
  • 1 cup heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 yellow peach, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
    For the dressing:
  • ¼ cup fresh grapefruit juice
  • ½ cup avocado oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. First, roast the beets and the peppers. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large jelly roll pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. Combine beets and peppers in a large mixing bowl. Add olive oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Pour onto prepared jelly roll pan and place in preheated oven. Roast beets and peppers for 20 minutes, or until beets can be easily pierced with a fork and peppers have charred slightly. Remove from oven and let cool.
  3. While beets and peppers are cooking, prepare the corn. Place a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and corn, cooking until corn has started turning golden. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. While vegetables are cooling, prepare the other ingredients for the salad. In a large salad bowl, combine kale, shallot, tomatoes, macadamia nuts, green onions, peach and goat cheese. Once other vegetables have cooled, add those as well.
  5. Finally, make the dressing. If you have a mason jar with a lid, combine all ingredients in the jar, put the lid on, and shake to combine. If you do not have a mason jar, simply add all of the dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk vigorously to combine. Add dressing to salad right away and toss to combine.

Notes

This salad can be enjoyed immediately, but for best results, let marinate for a few hours or overnight before serving.

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https://www.caligirlcooking.com/summer-kale-salad-with-grapefruit-vinaigrette/

 

Summer Kale Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette | CaliGirlCooking.com

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