I may be able to buy spaghetti squash in Malaysia now (happy dance!), but Lacinato kale (also known as dinosaur or Tuscan kale) is still a luxury I only get when back at home. It’s less “scratchy” to eat in salads, and has a deeper “green” flavor that I love. When I’m home at Christmastime, my mom and I always make huge kale salads. Raspberries and avocados are often thrown in there. This year, in honor of my undying love for them, I decided to throw some golden beets into the mix.
We’ve been back in Kuala Lumpur for a week now, but my body (and stomach) haven’t adjusted to the time change yet. I’ve been falling asleep at 6 pm, only to wake up at 2 am (the next day at work? OUCH!).
A trip from Kuala Lumpur to the United States in December isn’t for the faint at heart. Living abroad is an amazing experience, and one I would never trade for anything. But– I cannot wait until I live closer to home and don’t have to endure what turns into 3 days with very little sleep, bad food, and cramped spaces. (Who am I kidding? I’m married to a man whose closest family lives in Australia– the exact opposite side of the world from my family!)
This makes it worth it: (snowshoeing in a storm that dumped almost a foot of snow on us)
And– so does this: (hiking up the buttes with my family)
And– this tiny angel makes me want to do it again soon: (my 5 month old niece Makenna)
I made this salad for a big family dinner. We had family from California visiting and my brother and his wife traveled from the other side of Oregon. Along with the rest of the Bend family, we were able to all spend a weekend together. Precious moments these days!
It’s the second time I’ve made a beet salad at Christmastime for a family gathering. The men in my family don’t appreciate beets (besides Alex- he loves them as much as I do). They happily picked the beets off and enjoyed the rest of the salad. There were 15 of us that night, so I made a huge salad– two enormous bunches of kale. The recipe below will feed a crowd– so if you’re not making this for a party, consider cutting it in half! You could also dress half one day, and save the rest for a day or two later. Believe me– you’ll be ready for more by then!
- 1 golden beet
- 1 cup walnuts
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 large bunches Lacinato kale
- 2 cups raspberries
- 1 avocado, cubed
- ½ large English cucumber, diced
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- ½ cup white wine vinegar
- juice of 1 large orange (about ½ cup juice)
- zest from 1 orange (about 3 tablespoons zest)
- 3 teaspoons honey
- ⅓ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon shallot, minced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Boil the beet in a saucepan covered with water for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes, until tender when pierced with a fork.
- Once the beet has cooled, peel it (the skin will fall off easily once it's cooked), and cut into strips.
- In a frying pan, add walnuts and sugar. Carmelize the walnuts over medium high heat, stirring frequently to prevent burning once the sugar begins to melt. Remove from heat, and spread the walnuts out across a plate to keep the nuts from cooling and sticking together.
- Prepare the salad dressing. Add vinegar, orange juice and zest, honey, shallot, and sea salt to a blender. Blend well, then slowly drizzle the olive oil into the dressing while continuing to blend.
- Remove the thick stems from the kale, and cut the leaves into long strips.
- Pour the dressing over the kale, and massage it in well. The kale will absorb the dressing making it very flavorful and making the kale a bit less tough if it's dressed an hour or two before eaten. It will be great right away if you don't want to wait.
- Add the beets, avocado, cucumber and raspberries to salad, and mix well.
- Top the salad with caramelized walnuts and hemp seeds right before serving.
- The salad will still be good on day 2 if there are leftovers!