Perhaps I should start a feature called I don't love (fill in the blank), but I'm trying it again. I've pledged to eat more dark leafy greens this year, and that doesn't come naturally to me. Spinach is about the darkest I go; the rest I find too bitter, unless they are cooked beyond recognition or boiled to death in soup. Kale is everywhere these days, and though I might well be the last person to try kale chips, I am jumping on the raw kale bandwagon with glee, thanks to this kale salad with mushrooms and mustard vinaigrette. This version adds the smoky saltiness of bacon; I made a vegetarian version (no bacon, more olive oil) for the recent holidays, and it was equally irresistible. I'm crossing kale off my I don't love list. I now, officially, love raw kale.
Kale salad with mushrooms and mustard vinaigrette
Slightly adapted from Eating Well magazine, this salad serves 4.
3 slices center-cut bacon
6 cups very thinly sliced kale (remove the stems)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
1 cup sliced portobello mushrooms (2 large caps, stems removed, sliced)
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tsp whole grain (or Dijon) mustard
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
Kosher salt, to taste (I didn't need any)
Place the eggs in a small saucepan and cover with cold water by one inch. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Immediately cover the pan, remove the pan from heat, and let sit for 12 minutes. (Set a timer!) After 12 minutes, drain the eggs, rinse under cool water, and allow the eggs to cool for 15 minutes. Peel and set aside.
In a large nonstick frying pan, cook the bacon until it's as crisp as you like it. Remove the bacon strips to a plate covered with paper towel, and let it drain; leave the bacon drippings in the pan.
Place the kale in a large mixing bowl, and set aside.
In the frying pan, add olive oil to the bacon fat already in the pan. Over low-medium heat, sauté the onion and mushrooms until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms have lost their rawness. Stir in the vinegar and mustard. Season with black pepper. Taste, and add salt if needed.
Pour the warm dressing from the pan over the kale, and toss gently to combine. Place in a serving bowl.
Crumble the bacon over the kale. Slice the eggs into quarters, lengthwise, and arrange here and there over the top of the salad. Sprinkle with a bit of black pepper.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Spinach, golden raisin and parmesan tart
Saag aloo/potatoes with spiced spinach
Baked egg with bacon, spinach and mushrooms
Deconstructed spinach salad on a crunchy whole wheat rice cracker
Farfalle or rotini pasta with spinach and sausage
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Roasted kale chips with sea salt and vinegar, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Warm quinoa, corn and arugula salad, from Food Blogga
Tuscan kale salad with honey mustard vinaigrette and pomegranate, from Not Eating Out in New York
Collard greens with bacon, from Simply Recipes
Kale and ricotta frittata, from Jane Spice Recipes
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