Last week I saw an article that the Obamas are planning to prepare a KALE SALAD for Thanksgiving at the White House! I was so excited and immediately ran out to the market to buy a fresh bunch of kale and the ingredients that Michelle Obama and her kitchen staff will be using to prepare the Official White House Kale Salad. Along with the kale, the White House will be using other ingredients from the White House organic garden. Can you tell I’ve totally been drinking the kool-aid for the First Lady’s healthy eating initiatives?
Even I have never eaten kale as part of Thanksgiving dinner but this year seems like the perfect time to start. I knew I had to test the recipe before re-creating for the Thanksgiving dinner that my husband and I will enjoy with English & American friends in London.
What is most interesting about this recipe is the use of jalapeno pepper. It is without a doubt the star ingredient in this salad and combined with the red wine vinegar and Marcona almonds adds a spice to the kale salad.
So if you’re still searching for one more side dish to add to your Thanksgiving, this is a healthy option. And if you’re not celebrating Turkey Day, still try the White House Kale Salad – I do not see any harm in renaming it the Champs-Élysées Kale Salad!
White House Kale Salad
1 bunch kale, thoroughly washed and spun dry, de-stemmed, finely chopped
1 bulb fennel (fronds, stems and outer layer removed), cored and thinly sliced
4 radishes, sliced
1 jalapeno peppers, seeded and sliced
1 scallion or spring onion, white and light-green parts, trimmed and thinly sliced
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved or cut into slivers
1/4- 1/3 cup of spiced Marcona almonds (instructions below)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/8 cup red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemom
1 medium shallot, minced
Salt and pepper
1. Combine the shallot, lemon juice and vinegar in a jar with a tight lid. Gradually whisk in the oil. 2. Add salt and pepper to taste. Shake and set aside.
3. After de-stemming kale, place in large bowl. Shake dressing and then add to salad. Massage kale for 2-3 minutes and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
4. Right before serving, add toppings.
*About Marcona Almonds: the recipe from the Washington Post said Marcona almonds are difficult to find in America, so I did not even begin to look for them in France. Luckily they provided simple instructions to make them at home.
1. Whisk one egg white in a medium bowl, add almonds and toss to coat.
2. Combine 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin and 1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika in a separate medium bowl.
3. Remove almonds from mixture and spread on baking sheet in oven at 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F until lightly brown – around 15 minutes. Cool before adding to salad.