I like to call this the calm before the storm.
The clouds before the rain.
The “like” before almost all of my words.
The salad before dinner.
The balanced dish before the cupcakes. And cake. And brownies. And cupcakes
The last, oh… MONTH of my life and the lives of those around me.
As I simultaneously lost my mind and remained relatively calm when I decided that no, I would not have an I-like-to-think-I-am-Kim-Kardashian-style birthday party because I am a normal person and not a participant on My Super Sweet Sixteen.
Otherwise known as my last day in my twenties.
I’m just gonna let that marinate for a bit and eat a lot of green stuff for 12 hours or so to make up for the copious amounts of sugar and booze I will be consuming for the next four (five?) days. I.can’t.wait.
1 large bunch of kale, torn from stems and torn into pieces
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh apple cider
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 shallot, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 small sweet potato, diced
1 honeycrisp apple, diced
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup pomegranate arils
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place kale in a large bowl and massage olive oil, apple cider, 1/8 teaspoon salt, nutmeg and pepper into for 1-2 minutes. Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 10 minutes. Toss well and roast for 5-10 minutes more, until slightly crispy but not golden.
While kale is roasting, heat a skillet over medium heat and add bacon. Cook until crispy and fat is rendered (about 2 minutes), then remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel. Add the shallot, garlic, sweet potatoes and apples to the skillet, tossing with remaining salt and cinnamon. You want the sweet potato and apple finely diced, about the same size as the bacon bits and only slightly larger than the pom arils and pine nuts. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.
In a small saucepan, add pine nuts and toast over low heat for 5-6 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Set aside.
Combine kale with apples and sweet potatoes, pine nuts, goat cheese and pom arils. I don't find this needs any sort of additional dressing (the kale will not stay crispy) but feel free to add some if you'd like.
[inspired by my favorite coconut kale salad in super natural everyday]
Oh wait… maybe I can. P.S. if I like this salad, you probably will too.