Massaged Kale Feta Salad with Pickled Cherries and Walnuts

kale_pickledcherry_salad

Serves: 6 side portions
Time: 3 days for pickling; 10 minutes for salad prep
Adapted from Karen Solomon’s “Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It” recipe for “Pickled Grapes”

As someone who had never pickled anything before, I sought out an expert named Karen Solomon, and her book “Can It, Bottle It, Smoke It” is one you should have in your kitchen on the recipe book shelf. (Wait, doesn’t everybody have one of these?!) She’s got so many fun weekend projects that I want to tackle… This is an adaptation of her “pickled grapes” recipe and an example that something sweet turned sour can taste like magic. Also, pitting cherries is a breeze after the first few, so lest you think I’m leading you down a time-suck path fraught with frustration, it gets easier the more you pit. And besides, you’re making pickled cherries- how sweet is that? This salad’s got a surprise in every bite.

INGREDIENTS
Pickled Cherries

· 2 small cloves of garlic, crushed
· 1 piece green onion – white part up the stalk (2 inches)
· 1 cinnamon stick
· 1 section of ginger, peeled (1/4 inch)
· 1 cup Bing cherries, washed
· 2 T sugar
· 1 tsp. kosher salt
· 1/3 cup white distilled vinegar
· 1/3 cup water

Massaged Kale Salad

· 4 cups kale, washed and stemmed
· 2 T hard sheep’s cheese
· ¼ cup crumbled feta
· 1 cup pickled cherries, plus 2 T of liquid
· ¼ cup chopped carrots
· 2 T chopped walnuts, toasted
· 2 T fresh mint, washed and torn
· 2 T olive oil
· dash of salt and pepper

pickled_cherries_in_a_jar

PREPARATION
Pickled Cherries

1. Remove pits from cherries- carefully slice them in half and remove the pit before tossing de-pitted cherries into bowl.
2. Pack the ginger, garlic, green onion and cinnamon stick with cherries into a clean pint jar. (I used a much larger quart sized jar because that’s what I had on hand and it worked like a charm– the main thing is to make sure it has a lid that seals and is tight-fitting.)
3. Add cherries to your jar. Next add sugar, salt and vinegar.
4. Pour in the water (you can add a little extra as you want to make sure the cherries are sufficiently covered).
5. Close lid tightly and shake your jar gently to dissolve sugar and salt. (This is quite relaxing).
6. Let sit on counter for 3 days or inside refrigerator for 1 week, gently shaking your jar every day.

kale_salad

Salad

1. Prepare about 10-15 minutes before you are ready to serve.
2. Pour olive oil and pickled cherry juice onto kale leaves. Add dash of salt and pepper to taste. Then massage with your hands until sufficiently covered.
3. Toss in remaining ingredients. Let sit for 10 minutes as you want the acid and oil to meld with the kale leaves. Enjoy!

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About Anneliesz

Food. Poetry. People. Art. If I was Julie Andrews singing her song, these would be some of my favorite things. My biggest food fail was something we'll call "Tuna Surprise," but that never kept me out of the kitchen. Cooking is my own playtime. While I'm not a chef and would never claim to be anything less than an experimenter of flavors and textures, I sure do love to feed people. Then there's my love of writing which commenced at a wee age over a talking pen named "Percy". I love rolling words around my tongue in different languages. Art camp taught me the importance of not having an eraser. Life is an adventure and one whose marrow I seek to suck as much out of as possible. Join me as I live my life en route.

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