As I was attempting to un-stifle myself from the distinctly stifling heat last week, a thought occurred to me. How in the world did women living 100 years ago tolerate the heat while wearing ankle-length dresses, corsets and layers of undergarments, and how would I have ever survived? I’d imagine it would have been deemed somewhat unladylike to hoist my dress up to my thighs, uncork a beer and let out a stream of profanity about the withering heat.
I really would have sucked at living in that time period.
Women of that era, and many others before modern times, were resourceful in providing meals for their families, growing their own food and wasting very little of what they had. Today, we have the luxury of driving to the grocery store or the farmer’s market to buy our fruits and vegetables. However, there’s something intensely satisfying about harvesting vegetables from your own garden. And I dare say that it’s a heck of a lot cheaper and healthier, too, assuming you don’t spray your backyard crops with chemicals.
Inspired by my friend, Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen, my husband and I decided to try our hand at growing kale this year. Kalyn has always had an impressive bounty of kale and chard each year, and I have coveted her planters full of those dark leafy greens that are touted to be rich sources of calcium, iron, and vitamins A, C and K.
This salad was born from ingredients in my pantry and fridge (how very “100 years ago” of me). The kale, rubbed with a little warm water to soften it slightly, is tossed with sweet red grapes that provide a pop of sweetness and feta cheese, which add some creamy tang. The simple vinaigrette is nothing more than some fresh lemon juice, olive oil, a touch of agave nectar or honey, and salt and pepper.
Even the kids munched up a hearty helping. Beat that, Laura Ingalls Wilder!
Rinse the chopped kale in warm water, gently rubbing the leaves to soften slightly. Dry the leaves in a salad spinner or on a towel.
In a large bowl, combine the kale, grapes and feta cheese.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, agave nectar (or honey), salt and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Serve.
Other salad recipes with dark, leafy greens:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Chopped Kale Salad with Pomegranate & Avocado
Cookin’ Canuck’s Warm Bourbon Spinach Salad with Bacon & Avocado
The Kitchn’s Garlicky Grilled Kale Salad with Grilled Bread
Eating Bird Food’s Raw Collard Greens Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Natasha’s Kitchen’s Spinach Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 3-4 large kale leaves, stems removed, leaves chopped (about 5 cups)
- 1 cup red grapes, cut in half
- ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp agave nectar or honey
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp ground pepper
- Rinse the chopped kale in warm water, gently rubbing the leaves to soften. Dry the leaves in a salad spinner or on a towel.
- In a large bowl, combine the kale, grapes and feta cheese.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, agave nectar (or honey), salt and pepper.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. Serve.