When it comes to holiday meals, people generally think of rich, creamy, and calorie-laden foods, but I don’t see why food has to be heavy in order to be festive. I found proof of that in Trine Hahnemann’s new book, Scandinavian Christmas, which includes a recipe for a raw kale salad with pomegranate, with the bright red seeds adding a decorative touch to the richly-colored greens.
Taking cues from Hahnemann as well as my sister- and brother-in-law’s restaurant, which is currently serving a kale salad with sunflower seeds and dried currants, I decided to come up with my own version. The raw kale leaves have a toothsome texture that is accented by the soft crunch of sliced almonds. The salad is given a fresh, silky touch with the flavors of good-quality olive oil and freshly-squeezed lemon juice, and is finished with some grated Nordic cheese to round it all out.
I hope you’ll give it a try in the weeks to come. It’s simple enough to put together for a weeknight dinner, but I think it’s special and festive enough to serve with a holiday meal as well. Enjoy!
Kale Salad with Lemon, Almonds, and Nordic Cheese
7-8 ounces (10-12 cups) kale leaves, stalk removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces
Juice of 1 large lemon (5 tablespoons)
4 tablespoons good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 cup Scandinavian cheese such as Herrgård or Västerbotten, grated
Put the kale leaves in a large salad bowl. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper until emulsified. Add the dressing to the kale and toss to combine. Add almonds and cheese and gently toss a little more until all ingredients are combined. Serve immediately.