I served this Quinoa and Kale Slaw the other night as an accompaniment to grilled pork tenderloin. Quinoa is a hearty, gluten-free grain packed with nutrients. It’s tiny seeds are toothsome and nutty, yet, in my opinion, somewhat wanting for flavor and brightness when served alone. I prefer to tumble the little sprouted grains with a smattering of leaves, chopped vegetables and spices for a healthy and immensely satisfying side dish. This recipe pairs red quinoa with handfuls of chopped Tuscan kale. While it may sound like a lot of kale, the sturdy greens easily make themselves at home in the salad and provide a perfect foil to the quinoa seeds. The result is akin to a cole slaw, which, in this case, would be kale slaw.
Red Quinoa and Kale Slaw
Serves 4 to 6
1 1/2 cups red quinoa
2 1/4 cups chicken stock
2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed and seeded, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded, finely diced
1 large garlic clove
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon Tabasco or hot sauce
1 bunch Tuscan (Lacinato) kale, tough ribs removed, chopped
Bring quinoa, stock and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Cover and reduce to heat to low. Simmer until liquid is absorbed and quinoa grains sprout, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and olive oil and toss to coat. Cool slightly. Add remaining ingredients, except for the kale, and toss to combine. Stir in the kale. Taste for seasoning. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Yep, that’s kale slaw – not cole slaw. The star of this little bowl of goodness is healthy, nutrient-rich kale. Not only is kale considered a “superfood” it’s delicious and versatile to use. Try it raw in salads, braised with garlic and olive oil, blanched in soups, or crisp-roasted in the oven. Whichever method you choose, kale is a keeper. In this version of a slaw, sturdy lacinato kale replaces the usual cabbage. Accompanied by carrot shavings, sweet red pepper and chile, the kale is tossed with a cumin-infused Dijon vinaigrette. This a satisfying side dish which tastes great and looks pretty, too.
Kale Slaw Makes 4 servings
I like the flavor of lacinato kale, an heirloom kale variety from Tuscany. It’s dark blue-green leaves retain their firmness in this slaw recipe. Feel free to substitute or combine other kinds of kale for a variety of color and texture.
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 bunch lacinato or Tuscan kale, tough ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
1 large carrot, grated
1 small red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, membranes removed, cut in 1/2 inch slivers
1-2 red fresno or serrano peppers, stemmed, seeded, membranes removed, minced
2 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill sprigs
1/4 cup cilantro or Italian parsley leaves
Combine lemon juice, mustard, cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in oil in a steady stream to emulsify. Set aside.
Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle half of the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to thoroughly coat. Add additional vinaigrette to taste. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour and up to 4 hours. Serve with additional dill, cilantro or parsley sprigs as garnish.