Friday, October 14, 2011

Raw Kale & Corn Salsa Salad

Have you ever noticed that produce looks so much better at the Farmer’s Market? It is fresh, colorful, crisp, and displayed beautifully! The sun hits the eggplant and heirloom tomatoes in a way that makes them look like candy.  The beauty of fresh fruits and vegetables can overwhelm me when I visit the Farmer’s Market. I just want all of it and sometimes don’t know when enough is enough. I usually navigate my way through the stands without a plan.  I choose what looks best on that particular day and then start mixing and matching textures and flavors once I get home.

This week, I made my regular trip to the Farmer’s Market and filled my basket with fresh greens, beets, sugar snap peas, various herbs, carrots, squash, and pumpkin. Just when I thought I was finished, a local farmer twisted my arm into buying three ears of his beautiful sweet corn. I was overjoyed by my beautiful basket of fresh, locally grown produce. I quickly headed home to indulge in my natural goodies.

Sweet corn. You can grill it, roast it, steam it, bake it, and boil it. You can eat it with your fingers, use cute little cob holders, or cut it off the cob. Eat it plain, season it with cumin, add ghee and sea salt, or in this case make a raw corn salsa! Try this delicious corn salsa on top of a bed of raw kale for a healthy and nutrient packed salad. I also whipped up a chili-lime vinaigrette to dress it up.

Now, you might be thinking that Kale is bitter and tough. If you don’t remove the thick rib or spine down the center of the leaf then you are absolutely right! You also may not realize that if you massage the raw kale with a drizzle of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), apple cider vinegar (or your favorite vinegar), and some sea salt that the fibers start to break down and the kale will soften. If you plan to eat any dark, leafy green vegetable I highly suggest kale! Kale is a powerhouse! Packed with Vitamin K, essential for our body’s inflammation process, loaded with at least 45 antioxidant flavonoids, and its glucosinolates provide cancer-preventative benefits. If you’re not already eating kale, I suggest that you add this amazing vegetable to your diet!

Salad Ingredients:
1 bunch of raw kale, stems removed and leaves finely julienned
2-3 ears of sweet corn, corn kernels removed from cob
1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
2 heirloom tomatoes, diced or chopped
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt

In a large bowl toss the julienned kale with the olive oil, apple cider vinegar and sea salt. Massage the mixture for two minutes or until the leaves begin to appear wilted. Let this rest for approximately 20-30 minutes to allow the kale to continue softening.

In the meanwhile, mix together the vinaigrette.

Vinaigrette Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons for extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of raw honey
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder

Whisk all dressing ingredients together and combine with the corn, tomatoes, and peppers. Pour the mixture over the kale and it’s ready to serve.

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