May 18, 2012

Purple Kale Lancashire Caesar Salad

Purple Kale Salad

Wake up. Yay, it's the weekend. No, it is not that early, c'omon.

What about having a good breakfast -nope, not that sticky bun, maybe some good oatmeal with apple? All right, also maple syrup. Coffee, sure.

Now, call that friend who you know is actually having that sticky bun for breakfast. Or knock on a neighbor door --the one you see taking home greasy pizza every night for dinner. Or hook up via some sort of social network with your sister's nerdy kids who eat peanut butter sandwiches in front of the computer. Do it, I'll tell you why in a minute.

On Saturdays, a market or something of that sort is likely to take place in your neighborhood. Did you know? What about googling it? Yep, I told you. I have one here in Wimbledon, too, every Saturday. Now, why not proposing to your friend/neighbor/nephews to check it out? It should be fun, something new to do! Or, in case I am mistaking completely and you are actually a "market animal", a veggie lover, why not including someone a bit lazy, someone you know eats kind of unhealthily, and go out together --then taking him/her at that market? I think it is a good idea.

Once there, you'll see how appealing those strawberries are --yep, May is strawberry month, not November-- and how many cool forms of leafy greens there are on this planet. What about buying some and going home to cook something delicious with them? It doesn't have to be special, fancy, complicated. Good food tastes good with no effort. Or again, if you are already an expert in the field, show someone else who isn't, who eat grab-and-go sandwiches because he/she doesn't know/have time for/like cooking from scratch. It will be rewarding. You'll make a small but significant change. Especially today.

Why? Because today it is the best day to involve people in your circle, in your small or big community, to get together and make better food choices. Because today, lots of other people in the world are doing it, they are taking active part in spreading the love about good, local, seasonal healthy food that is tasty and uncomplicated, and that is good for our bodies, souls and the system. Today, thanks to the power and genius of Jamie Oliver in creating and spreading the voice about a global food event, it is Food Revolution Day. A day to talk, cook, exchange information, eat and enjoy food together. A day to take the time to think about food, to make better food choices, and to keep doing them by ourselves and within a group. Good food is so rewarding --when did we forget it? It is time to share this message again.

Today, we are invited to take part to this event in whatever form we like, from hosting a little dinner to talking at a local school, from sharing a meal to giving away apples. Use your imagination --it is never too late to join.

Together with a group of fellow-bloggers and friends, we chose to create a virtual potluck made with local fresh ingredients from the place we come from. Unfortunately, given the physical distance that divides us (sigh), we didn't have the chance to actually share the food we made. However, the aim and the message is pretty clear: come together, stand up for better food, enjoy a home-made meal, spread the voice.

Each of us took part to the virtual potluck dinner with something close to our being and our place. I can picture the scene of our dinner in my mind, as if it would happen for real. Karin would open the scene with some spiced nibbles and appetizers. Giulia would bring a piece of Tuscan fare with a green panzanella that makes you think about springtime at first sight. Emiko would
"wow" us with her crespelle verdi di pesce, an Australian twist to a Tuscan seafood dish. Regula would bring a Beligian classic that makes everybody happy, mussels with real traditional Belgian fries. Zita would take a springtime galette with rhubarb, and Sarka will double the sweet rhubarb dose with a lovely rhubarb pannacotta. What about me? I would take a salad --a cheesy one of course.

I put together this salad using the most inspiring greens from the farmer's market and some farmhouse British cheese, Lancashire Kirkhams. I threw in some home-made croutons for some crunch. I made a lemony, Ceasar-like seasoning. Done. Easy peasy --no excuses.

What is revolutionary about this salad? It has healthy, seasonal greens from local sources. It has home-made, fiber-rich brown bread croutons. It has heart-friendly healthy fats from the olive oil and the anchovies. And it has good, real cheese in it --because when it comes to cheese, you really have to choose quality over quantity and forget about low-fat, industrial crap. Please. Your body will thank you, and you'll be oh, so much happier. Enjoy!

Purple Kale SaladPurple Kale Salad

Purple Kale, Sorrel and Lancashire "Caesar" Salad

serves 4-8

For the salad:
4 handfuls of purple kale
4 handfuls sorrel
1 cup grated quality Lancashire (or quality Cheddar)
2 think slices of brown bread (home-made or store-bought), cubed
1 red chili
1 garlic clove
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the seasoning:
4 (sustainably fished) anchovy fillets
2 T lemon juice
4 T extravirgin olive oil
1 tsp grainy mustard
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt

Prepare the seasoning by chopping the anchovies very finely and tossing them with the rest of the ingredients, stirring well (or shaking them all together in a jar). Set aside
Rinse and drain well the kale and sorrel and set them in a large bowl. Stir in the grated cheese and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat 1 T oil with the garlic and chili. When hot (but not smoking!), add the bread cubes. Sauté over medium-high heat until bread is crunchy and deeply browned, about 5 minutes. Add to the salad, season with the anchovy vinaigrette, toss well and serve.

The rest of our amazing virtual potluck menu:

Karin (from Germany, originally from the USA) - Nibbles and Dips 
Giulia (from Tuscany, Italy) - Green Panzanella Salad 
Regula (from Antwerp, Belgium) : Mussels with Real Traditional Belgian Fries
Emiko (from Melbourne, Australia): Crespelle Verdi di Pesce 
Sarka (from London, UK, originally from Czech Republic): Rhubarb and Almond Panna Cotta 
Zita, (from Hungary): Vanilla and Honey Rhubarb Galette


Date un occhio qui: oggi è Food Revolution Day! Una giornata in cui fare tutti un passo in avanti verso uno stile di vita e un'alimentazione più sana, stagionale e locale. Una giornata in cui condividere cibo e idee per stare meglio con noi stessi e col mondo. Io, da parte mia, ho fatto un'insalata (col formaggio, ovviamente!), e l'ho portata ad un potluck con un gruppo di care amiche vicine ma ahimé, lontane: Giulia, Emiko, Zita, Sarka, Regula e Karin. Ognuna di noi ha preparato qualcosa di speciale da portare a questa cena virtuale, qualcosa di genuino, autentico, qualcosa che fa stare bene. Il messaggio è semplice: il buon cibo non è complicato, cucinare non è una punizione. Basta poco per avere molto, moltissimo in cambio. Spargete il verbo, non è mai troppo tardi!

Insalata "Caesar" di Cavolo violetto, Soncino e formaggio Lancashire

per 4-8

Per l'insalata:
4 manciate di cavolo violetto (o spinacini)
4 manciate di soncino (o rucola)
100 gr di Lancashire (o Cheddar) grattugiato
2 fette spesse di pane integrale rustico tagliate a cubetti
1 peperoncino
1 spicchio d'aglio
1 cucchiaio di olio evo
sale e pepe qb

Per il condimento:
4 filetti di acciughe (sostenibili!)
2 cucchiai di succo di limone
4 cucchiai di olio evo
1 cucchiaino di senape in grani
sale una punta di cucchiaino

Preparare il condimento tagliando finemente i filetti di acciughe e aggiungendoli al resto degli ingredienti. Mescolare bene, mettere da parte. 
Lavare e asciugare le verdure, metterle in una terrina col formaggio grattugiato. 
In una padella, scaldare l'olio, aggiungere aglio e perperoncino e lasciar insaporire qualche minuto, aggiungere i cubetti di pane e saltare a fiamma vivace finchè non sono belli croccanti e dorati. Aggiungere i crostini all'insalata, condire, mescolare bene e servire.

Questo è il resto del nostro menu:

Karin (dalla Germania, originaria degli USA) - Nibbles and Dips 
Emiko (da Melbourne, Australia): Crespelle Verdi di Pesce 
Sarka (da Londra, UK, Originaria della Rep. Ceca): Rhubarb and Almond Panna Cotta 

Buon appetito!



  1. Hi there!
    This looks so healthy and fresh, wish I could get to taste it! Love how everyone had a part in this!
    happy Food Revolution Day x

  2. Gorgeous salad Valeria!
    happy real food revolution day
    xox Karin

  3. This looks beautiful and I'm sure tastes even better! I bet that cheese is delicious - wish we could have shared it together! ;)

  4. You wrote a wonderful post, Valeria! I love your message! Everyone should read it. The salad looks healthy and yum!

  5. Thank you all girls, glad you liked it, I'll make it for once we will finally meet in person!

  6. What a lovely post and delicious looking salad. I love the beautiful purple colour of the kale. This salad must taste fantabulous. Now I wanna check this Lancashire Kirkhams cheese. Where do you buy it?

    1. Either at Neil's Yard or come to Whole Food in H.S. Kensington, I'll give you a taste myself! :) Would love to meet up sometime!

  7. you are my cheese girl, no doubt about it! And I love to pair cheese to vegetables, it really makes me happy! This is really the perfect salad for our pot-luck dinner!


Blogger Templates by pipdig