by Lindsey Christiansen
Field Kitchen Manager
I started working at Culinary Crafts in 2002, the same year that we catered the Winter Olympics. Back then, it was very popular to garnish platters with loads of kale. We had kale under the vegetables, kale under the poached salmon, kale under everything! It was a very classy look back then, but it was only for décor. No normal person would actually eat the kale. Right?
Well, Young Living was a regular client of ours, and they were crazy for kale! I remember the first time I worked one of our events for Young Living, they ate all the kale decorations under the fruit. We had to keep sending the bowls back to be restocked—not for more fruit but for more kale! I remember thinking, “Why are these weird hippies eating all the garnish?”
Kale, the Superfood
As it turns out, those “weird hippies” knew what they were doing! Now that the rest of us have caught up on how great kale can be, we know it’s super healthy and (prepared right) super delicious. It doesn’t get soggy, so it adds a great texture as well as flavor. Plus, with its nice balance of summer and fall flavors, it always makes me feel like fall is coming.
I’ve enjoyed kale in quinoa power bowls and in lots of keto recipes, but my favorite use of kale is in this Harvest Peach and Kale Salad. My recipe is based on an idea from the website Lillie Eats and Tells, but I’ve made a few changes, including adding grilled peaches. As soon as I saw Culinary Crafts grilling peaches on our big outdoor grills, I knew I had to get that deliciousness into my kale salad and into my mouth!
Harvest Peach and Kale Salad
- 2 peaches
- 1 tsp honey
- 6 cups kale, chopped into small ribbons
- 3 Tbsp aged balsamic vinegar (I use a specialty cranberry pear vinegar from Baker and Olive)
- pinch of coarse salt
- 2¼ cups grilled chicken, chopped
- 6 Tbsp red onion, diced
- 3 Tbsp dried cranberries, golden raisins, or dried cherries
- 3 Tbsp toasted candied pecans, chopped
- 6 Tbsp crumbled goat cheese
- To grill your peaches, wash them and slice them in half, removing pits. Drizzle a little honey over them, then put them cut-side down on a grill or pan over medium high heat for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and put aside to cool.
- Remove any tough stems from the kale. (I don’t like chewing on kale stems, but who knows? The Young Living people always ate the stems, so maybe they knew something I don’t.) Chop the kale into very small pieces.
- In a large bowl, toss kale with the vinegar and salt until kale is well-coated.
- Mix in chicken, onion, nuts, raisins or cherries, and cheese. Heap it in a bowl and top it with your cooled peaches, sliced or cubed as you prefer.