Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Kale for the holidays.

Here's a pretty salad you can serve to guests this holiday season.  It's brimming with health and packed with healing phytonutrients.  Plus a salad like this is full of the prebiotics that the beneficial bacteria in your digestive system love to munch on.  Keeping your gut microbiome happy and healthy helps control obesity and diabetes, protects against auto-immune diseases and supports the immune system (to name only a few of the many benefits).

It just so happens that kale is one of the best prebiotic foods around.   Your gut bacteria loves kale.  And here's the good news, when it's served up in a delicious, seasonal and colorful salad like this, so does everybody else!

Holiday Salad with Kale and Persimmons 

¼ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 large bunches Dino Kale
12 ounces Brussels sprouts
½ cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1 cup finely grated pecorino or parmesan cheese (optional)
1 pomegranate
2 Fuyu persimmons

Combine lemon juice, mustard, shallot, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and pinch of pepper in a small bowl. Stir to blend and set aside to allow flavors to combine.

Remove center stem from kale leaves and thinly slice the leaves. Trim the Brussels sprouts to remove the base and any discolored outer leaves, and grate or thinly slice the sprouts. Mix kale and Brussels sprouts in a large serving bowl.

To remove the seeds from the pomegranate, score 4 lines from top to bottom to quarter the pomegranate and tear it open into quarters. Hold each quarter over a bowl, seeds facing down and tap the skin with a wooden spoon, squeezing a little to release the seeds. Slice the Fuyu persimmons into bite-sized pieces.

Toast almonds in ½ cup of the oil in a skillet on medium high heat, stirring frequently until golden about two minutes. Remove from heat, transfer nuts to a paper towel and sprinkle with salt.

Slowly whisk the remaining olive oil into the lemon juice mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Add dressing and cheese (optional) to the salad and toss to coat.  Add fruit and toss lightly. Garnish with the almonds.  (Or for a more festive individual salad, plate the greens and then garnish with the fruit and almonds.)

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