Super Summer Chopped Salad
Serve this chopped salad at your next gathering, and be ready to WOW your guests. I made this for a crowd, and I'll be honest, I wasn't certain how it might go over. But here is a little of what they said,
"This tastes so fresh and light!"
"Can you tell me when you're making this again?!"
So, it started as just a few ingredients from the fridge and pantry, that I knew I liked together, thrown into the same bowl. But after serving it at two different gatherings with the same response, I know this will now be a staple in my summertime dishes- any maybe beyond!
Why is it called "Super Summer?" Well, it's two of summer's staples- kale and tomatoes, paired with a few other super foods: apple cider vinegar, organic olive oil, and red onion.
It is SO simple to put together, with the most basic chopping skills (and a good serrated knife for the tomatoes) and the bonus is that you can make it ahead, because it tastes EVEN better the longer it marinates in the dressing. (but you should serve it within 3 days for maximum freshness.)
Don't tell anyone it's kale, or they might pre-judge and say they don't like it. I promise, they WON'T EVEN KNOW it's kale. The flavors blend so well together that it's exactly what my reviewers said - fresh, refreshing, and downright amazing. Kale tastes best when it's been chopped into small pieces and allowed to rest with the acidic dressing to release the bitterness and sulfur-creating compounds that often cause people stomach upset and turn them off from this beneficial cruciferous superfood.
For the dressing:
2 TB - 4 TB raw apple cider vinegar
1 TB -2TB organic olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder, or 1 teaspoon minced garlic
1-2 tsp dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp mustard powder
For the salad
1/2 head of fresh kale leaves, washed, de-stemmed, and chopped into very small pieces.
1/2 red onion, chopped into small pieces
2 fresh, ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup dry quinoa, cooked according to package directions and cooled for at least 10 minutes.
2-3 oz feta cheese in brine, chopped into small pieces. (or 2-3 oz from a container of crumbled feta)
Whisk all ingredients for dressing together in the bottom of a large bow, and set aside.
Chop all ingredients, in order, and add to the bowl. Be sure to chop kale into small pieces and add first, so it has time to marinate in the dressing the longest.
Be sure to wait until quinoa is cooled before adding to the salad. (You could even cook the quinoa ahead the day before.)
Mix all ingredients together in the large bowl, cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes. It tastes better the longer the flavors can meld.
Serve as a side dish on its own (and be prepared to share this link for the recipe!!) or add grilled chicken, tuna or your favorite protein to make it a complete meal.