The best part of being back in the States? Aside from all the family, friends and awesome toilets and clean sheets -- KALE! No doubt it's the vegetable I missed the most whilst traveling. Sure we had a few cooked chard/greens dishes in Turkey, but I enjoy my greens on a daily basis, and usually raw. I say "raw" and I mean wilted with tons of dressing, salt and other goodies. One of our favorite meals at home is the "big salad," and I mean big. D and I get our own wooden bowls and load them up with tons of foliage and at least 5 other add-ins: nuts, seeds, potatoes, cooked veggies, beans, onions, fruits, bits of cheese and left over tofu, fake sausage -- if you can dream it up, it can go in a salad, that's my philosophy. I feel sorry for salads with just a tomato or carrot in them.

Anyway, my favorite bed upon which to don a multitude of said ingredients is soft kale. I just chop in pretty fine, douse it in salt and vinegar (or lemon juice) and really knead it, like I would a dough, for about two minutes and then let it rest for about five more minutes before topping it with all my favorite goodies. This kneading, resting and salting process sort of 'cooks' the kale in a way, making it softer, but leaving the greens still chock-full of raw goodness. You can feel the health coursing through your body after eating this dish, I swear. It's addictive and delicious. Wilted kale is particularly yummy with avocado, toasted walnuts, fresh herbs, shredded carrot, thinly sliced red onion and an egg -- as I assembled here, at my parents' place in Santa Barbara. Try it and you'll be amazed at your super-human strength.


  1. that's a really interesting concept- do you also add olive oil when kneading it? kale is one of my favourite greens, as long as it hasnt been cooked- otherwise it becomes leathery.

  2. shayma, i love the meditative peace about stirring and cooking with your mom . . . gorgeous! and, about the kale, i don't put oil on it at the beginning, i just add a little salad dressing (which i usually have on hand, just a olive oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, herb concoction) at the end, right before serving. it is divine !

    ta ta,