“In March, the earth remembers its own name.”
So begins “Worm Moon” by Mary Oliver, the greatest poet to ever remark on the changing seasons. Here in New York, the earth is slowly, timidly beginning to rediscover itself. The sky — brighter and bluer at seven in the morning than it has been in months — holds the promise of hot days ahead, and though the wind still whispers, “Not yet,” you know, deep in your bones , at long last, spring is here.
With April on the horizon, it’s high time our plates reflected the fresh, bright, nearly-bursting-into-bloom world waiting just outside our windows. This kale salad could hardly be simpler or more satisfying. Lush leaves and crisp red pepper come together with toasted almonds and tangy Parmesan, then all is doused in as much lemon and garlic as your taste buds can handle (and mine can handle a lot). But beware, once you try this nutritious delicious dish, you’ll find yourself constantly craving bowls of it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
lemony garlic kale salad
Adapted from The New York Times
1/2 – 3/4 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
5 ounces washed and dried kale, thick stems removed
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt & pepper
freshly grated Parmesan (optional)
Serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side
Preheat the oven to 350. Place the chopped almonds on a baking sheet and toast for 8-10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Chop or slice the kale into small piece and place in large bowl. Add the red pepper and, when cooled, the toasted almonds.
Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle over salad and mix until well-combined. For best results, let the salad sit for 30 minutes or so before eating. Just before serving, top with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
I strongly suggest pairing this kale salad with a slice or two of crusty bread so you have something to sop up the leftover garlicky lemon goodness pooling on your plate (don’t let a drop go to waste!). And if you still need convincing, I’ll leave you with this final thought: One bowl of this addictive-ly tasty and shamelessly healthy salad and you will be left feeling as Mary Oliver does at the end of the poem that began this post, which is simply that: