Things have been absolutely crazy at work these days.
Luckily this past week we've buckled down and reduced our rehearsing mainly to Nutcracker as the madness of the Christmas season starts next week.
One of my favorite things about this time of year is going to the farmer's market. It's freezing, yes. But the kale guys, the kale.
The cold weather has lead to a lot of people out sick at work which has left me running from rehearsal to rehearsal filling in for what feels like every part in The Nutcracker. I'm not complaining... (But my body definitely is.)
There's nothing that pulls me out of bed on a dreary morning like knowing there are crates full of kale to be bought. And don't even get me started on the mushrooms...
I think at this point you could bet money on the fact that I'll show up at work on Wednesdays and Saturdays - the days of the local farmer's market - laden with bags bursting with kale and every kind of mushroom the market offers.
When I have such fresh ingredients I like to cook simply. That's why this week I'm sharing my recipe for a stupendously easy hot kale salad.
Kale salads have a bad rap for being super tough, and though I recommend giving the kale a good massage to treat that, cooking it is a fast and tasty alternative to ensure you're not stuck chewing and chewing. And chewing.
This has been my go to recipe for the last few weeks. I like to make this salad for dinner after an entire day of rehearsing because it's just so straightforward. There's almost nothing you have to do but a few minutes of cooking, and the results are fantastic - especially when you've got good ingredients.
I've made and eaten this salad so many times in the past few weeks that you'd think I'd be sick of it by now, but I don't think that's even possible.
Here's to the next few weeks of kale salads.
Hot Kale & Mushroom Salad
*Serves two as a starter, one as a main.* 100 g / 4 handfuls of kale, stalks removed, roughly chopped 1 kräuterseitlinge (king trumpet) mushroom, or about 80 g mixed mushrooms 1/2 block of firm tofu, about 80-90 g 2-3 sprigs of thyme 1 tsp sesame oil 1 tsp sesame seeds, for garnish
Put a pan with a glug of olive oil and the few sprigs of thyme over a medium-high heat.
Slice the mushroom(s) into slices, about 1/2 cm, and cut the tofu in to small cubes, about 1.5 cm.
Add your mushrooms to the pan when the oil is hot. Let the mushrooms cook undisturbed for a minute or two.
Turn the slices of mushroom to ensure both sides get cooked and add the tofu to the pan. Season with a pinch of salt. Continue cooking for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the mushroom and tofu have developed a nice golden color, remove them from the pan and set aside.
Return the pan to the hob and add the kale with a pinch of salt. Cook the kale for a minute or two. Be careful not to overcook the kale. It should wilt slightly and become a very vibrant green color.
Plate the kale and top with the mushroom mixture. Drizzle sparingly with sesame oil (can be overpowering) and garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Instagram [#ballerinachef] and enjoy!
I'm off to eat more kale. You should join me.
© 2014 The Ballerina Chef