Kale and Couscous Salad

Kale and couscous salad

Kale: From the Kitchen Garden to the Plate

I’ve always thought that a few kale plants in every backyard would go a long way toward solving world hunger. Kale is one of the easiest Brassicas to grow, and it grows prolifically. You can plant kale in the spring and, if you keep picking off leaves as they grow, the plant will continue to produce new leaves well into late fall and even winter. And it need not take up much room in the garden; I’ve learned that four plants are more than enough to keep two people in kale for months.

And see how pretty the curly blue kale leaves look in the garden:

Kale in the garden

Kale gained fame as a nutritional powerhouse a couple of years ago. While it may no longer be the It superfood (hello, seaweed), this cousin to the cabbage is packed with vitamins A and C and antioxidants like beta-carotene. Kale is rated higher than most vegetables in its ability to absorb free radicals that are linked to disease. Studies have found that eating kale may prevent some cancers and promote urinary health.

Eat kale cooked or raw, but if you are looking for the maximum nutritional benefit, raw is best. My recipe for Kale and Couscous Salad combines raw kale and other healthy ingredients in a delicious Medeterranean-style salad. The salad makes for a great packable lunch or meatless dinner.

Curly kale leaves

Kale and Couscous Salad: The Recipe

This recipe was inspired by a Mediterranean quinoa salad that my friend Heidi brought to a summer holiday potluck. My sister-in-law Jen gets credit for the idea to substitute kale for arugula. I swapped out the quinoa for couscous because I ran out of quinoa. And I added cucumber because I have them coming out of my ears in the garden.

For a successful kale salad, use the youngest, most tender leaves and chop them finely. Raw kale benefits from marinating for several minutes in a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, and salt before serving.

Chopped kale leaves

 

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