Kale and Corn Salad: A Perfect Side Dish

Thursday, May 23, 2013

I was staring at a bunch of kale and wondering how I could use it in a different way. I wanted something light, something colorful. My eyes went straight to the fresh corn and boom! This delicious salad was born!

Fresh corn is husked and cut off the cob then lightly sautéed in a little olive oil with some garlic, then tossed with some lightly sautéed kale. Finely chopped red onion add crunch and spicy flavor, while a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a light hand of more olive oil bring the salad together. This is meant to be served as a warm salad but it also tastes great cold. It's perfect on its own or to serve with any protein. Try it with my turkey cutlet recipe!

Kale and Corn Salad
1 bunch kale, washed and leaves torn from stem
3 ears of corn, husked
1/4 cup (about 1/4) red onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Take the kale and chop it up into larger bite-sized pieces, about 1.5 inches large. Take the corn and cut the kernels off the cob; set aside.

Heat about a tablespoon of the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the kale and season with a little salt and pepper (helps to wilt the kale), and cook on medium-low heat until just wilted. Cover with the lid of the pan to help create a steam effect, aiding in the wilting. Stir often so as not to burn the kale. The kale will turn a bright, deep green color and wilt down; as soon as it does this, remove it from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan add another tablespoon of olive oil (you'll notice the kale will absorb the prior oil used, leaving a dry pan). Add the corn kernels and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook the corn on medium heat, stirring occasionally for about 7-8 minutes. The corn will turn bright yellow and become tender. The natural sugars in the corn will also release, lightly caramelizing the corn. This is why we use fresh corn for this! Add the kale back into the pan along with the garlic, and mix to combine. Cook another 2 minutes or so then remove mixture into a large mixing bowl.

While the corn and kale still quite warm, add the red onion, lemon juice, and another good drizzle of oil. Mix and taste, then adjust seasonings with salt and pepper to your taste. Serve warm or at room temperature (or even cold).

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