Athena Lamberis

Eating Kale:Yuppie-Guilt or Social Tool for change?

In Recipe, Stories, Travel on April 9, 2013 at 15:02

Ingredients for Kale SaladI recently came across a blog post that said “20-things-everyone-thinks-about-the-food-world-but-nobody-will-say.If you’re a kale-loving, politically correct “foodie” interested in CSAs, molecular gastronomy, and not getting your bubble burst, run away now—shit’s about to get real.

It went on to say some pretty funny, real and ridiculous shit and brought up statements like: Locavorism has become the newest outlet for yuppie guilt, providing a feeling of living ethically and supporting a cause, but too often the onslaught of kale and artisanal pickles blinds us from looking at the deeper problems affecting America’s food system.

Ya, but.  Eating more kale, is the start to actively changing a problem affecting America’s health system, consumption, which then indirectly changes modern food systems around the world if we access our food from community soil sources around us.  Yes, Urbanism is all around and people live on sand deposited land in and outside of global cities.  But let’s be real with the small steps one can take: The more we learn about our food, where it comes from and why, consume home-grown and home-made food, and understand the need for changes in our large modern food systems (globally -it’s not only an North American plague anymore) -the more we return to our natural existence with food, which will grow each of us into more kale-loving citizens that use food as a positive tool for social change.

Food is a canvas that allows us to address issues interconnected in our societies, and let kale be the paintbrush that communicates our awareness and need for change from the dependency on our modern food systems.  What we do to get our food and make our food can make us think about our resources differently, interact with them differently, can shape the world differently, and then replicate actions into positive productive kale-loving urban cities.  Check out Edible Green Route and Carolyn Steel’s Hungry City for some food activist reading.

So on that note, I’m sharing a recipe from my kale-loving cousin Connie, who is most likely to be found eating at Noma or getting kale from her CSA basket in Chicago and making this delicious kale salad:

1 bunch dinosaur kale/Lacinato kale/black kale

1 shallot, finely diced

spoonful of dijon mustard

white wine vinegar

extra virgin olive oil

Juice of one whole lemon (sometimes a bit more)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 anchovy, minced

salt and pepper to taste

Panko or breadcrumbs toasted

Pecorino Romano

Remove stems from the kale and roughly chop into ribbons

Toast panko crumbs until dark brown

Dinosaur or black kale in a colanderHow to make a kale salad with lemon mustard dressingBlend the ingredients for Kale salad dressing In blender, emulsify shallts, dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, lemon juice, garlic and anchovy.  You can also just whisk all together if you don’t feel like using the blender.

Let the dressing sit on the kale for awhile (an hour or so) to soften the kale a little bit.  When ready to serve, toss the toasted Panko crumbs and grate the Pecorino Romano (you can also use parmesan instead).

Alternatives:  I added some flax seed oil to the dressing and then grated fresh carrot because I didn’t have cheese.

Kale Salad and Mustard lemon dressing

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