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“Kale” Slaw and Crumble

Lately, I’ve been grateful for the days that I feel like cooking. We are house hunting and after looking at countless kitchens that simply put mine to shame, I’m afraid to say that “I’m just not into” this little kitchen of mine right now. But in the meantime I am trying to make the best of the situation.

So I look for inspiration where I can get it. This weekend, I spoke to my mom about kale. My uncle just got his first community supported agriculture share, which included a whole lot of kale and was looking for some recipes for this seasonal green still so unfamiliar to many. I woke up this morning and thought “Kale” Slaw. Sadly, this was not the unique idea I thought it might be.

Regardless, it gave me the little push I needed. We headed out for a little organic fruit and veggie shopping and picked up some kale, strawberries, rhubarb, celery, cabbage and scallions.

A friend of mine makes the best strawberry rhubarb crumble in the world so I’ve been hesitant to reproduce such a dish for us, but decided to throw caution to the wind and give it a shot using a recipe from one of my favorite food blogs, Smitten Kitchen.

The results? The slaw was fantastic. The peanut butter in the dressing made the dish – it was the perfect balance of sweet and salty for my palate. We were both pleasantly surprised by the crumble. It was quite good especially considering some of my past baking efforts! My only complaint is that it says it serves 6-8. That’s 2-4 in our house!

“Kale” Slaw

  • 1 pound of kale, stems removed
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 small red or green cabbage
  • 2 scallions
  • Homemade dressing (below)

Dressing: Mix 1 TB natural, organic peanut butter, a little olive oil and vinegar (apple cider is probably best but I made do with red wine vinegar), salt, tsp of sugar, and red pepper flakes in a jar and shake. Refrigerate.

Slaw:  Thinly slice ribbons of kale, carrot, and cabbage. Dice scallions. Mix together. Add dressing and chill before serving. You can add a variety of veggies (red peppers, red cabbage, onions etc.) or even sliced apples to this slaw.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble

For the topping:

  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Demerara sugar (or turbinado sugar aka Sugar in the Raw)
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 pound (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 quart strawberries plus a few extras, hulled, quartered
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cornstarch (I used flour)
  • Pinch of salt

Heat oven to 375°F. Prepare topping: In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugars and lemon zest and add the melted butter. Mix until small and large clumps form. Refrigerate until needed.

 Prepare filling: Toss rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and a pinch of salt in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. (I used an oval dish this time, because they fit better in the bottom of a shopping bag.)

Remove topping from refrigerator and cover fruit thickly and evenly with topping. Place pie plate on a (foil-lined, if you really want to think ahead) baking sheet, and bake until crumble topping is golden brown in places and fruit is bubbling beneath, about 40 to 50 minutes.

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What’s For Dinner Wednesdays

Okay, I am trying something new. Each week, say perhaps on a Wednesday, I’m going to do a brief post on what I’m cooking for dinner. Today it is 94 degrees and I dared to use the oven. Probably not a wise choice, but since we pretty much live in our small bedroom during the summer (no, no – it is the only room with actual air conditioning), I figured we might survive this decision.

As with any post, please keep in mind that any cooking is done in the kitchen pictured below. Yes, my friends, this is considered a kitchen so you can probably imagine why I’m often a bi-polar cook – I’ve been driven to it by the world’s smallest kitchen space.

So enough of my complaining. Tonight’s meal is chicken (we are on a carnivorous kick but it is free-range) with lemon and capers. I sautéed the chicken with a little olive oil in the skillet, added a handful of capers and a few slices of lemon and tossed it into oven for another 10-15 minutes. In addition, I’m making a spring garden salad with some leftover asparagus and zucchini salad and, yes, some radishes. We also have a few ears of corn on hand to complete the meal. Nothing fancy by any means but good enough for a Wednesday (in 94 degree weather, in this sad little kitchen).

So what are you making tonight?

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