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A New Taste for Kale

By Lauren Chandler, Chef Instructor, MSW

It is indeed possible, that some Portlanders are over kale. Kale has certainly made the rounds on restaurant menus, in recipes and potluck dishes, but I, for one, am not over it. And I implore you not to give it up either. You can believe the hype: It truly is a powerhouse, boasting more calcium than other foods known to be calcium-rich, like milk, sesame seeds and tofu. It is high in glucosinates, which are cancer-fighting and heart-protective, and is high in anti-oxidants, with levels in red and purple kale higher than in green. Here is a recipe to encourage you to eat your kale raw, for maximum antioxidants, vitamin C and phytonutrients. For even more of an antioxidant boost, select potatoes with darker skin and flesh, like red, purple and blue potatoes. If you are avoiding potatoes, roasted radish or asparagus would make a lovely substitution.

Smokey Kale with Potatoes & Hazelnuts

Serves 4-6

1 pound potatoes, cut in half or quarters for 1-inch pieces (I like Fingerling potatoes)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika, divided

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup tahini

1 head of kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces

1/3 cup roughly chopped toasted hazelnuts

1/4 teaspoon each sea salt and freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mound the potatoes on a large baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, 2 teaspoons smoked paprika, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread the potatoes out in a single layer and roast them until just tender and brown, about 30 minutes, turning once . Set aside to cool.

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the other ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, lemon juice, tahini, and remaining smoked paprika. Place the kale in a large bowl and add the dressing, massaging it into the kale with your hands for about 2 minutes, or until the kale softens.

Fold the hazelnuts into the kale, reserving 1 tablespoon for garnish, then fold in the potatoes adding salt and pepper to taste. Divide equally among plates and garnish with the reserved hazelnuts.