This salad was inspired by my friend Lahle who is in need of getting some extra iron into her diet. Personally, I never want to feel that I have to eat something just “because it’s good for me.” If I’m going to bother to make any dish, the standard must be that I can’t wait to take the first bite.
Kale and pumpkin seeds are great sources of iron. Since iron from plans is not as easily absorbed as it is from animal sources, vitamin C is helps the absorption. So I’ve added red cabbage and strawberries which also add some nice sweetness and color. The lemon-mint vinaigrette pulls it all together with a beautiful brightness.
Lemon Mint Vinaigrette
1 bunch of fresh mint leaves (exact amount is not important) 1 garlic clove zest and juice of 1 lemon 2 tbsp white wine vinegar 1 tsp agave, honey or any other sweetener1/4 tsp kosher salt a couple of pinches of black pepper 1 cup olive oil
1 bunch of Tuscan Kale 1/2 cup sliced strawberries 1/2 cup chopped red cabbage 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
Make the dressing: Throw all the ingredients in the blender or food processor and blend until the mint is very finely minced. Taste – if it’s too sour add a 1/2 tsp more sweetener and a Tbsp oil, if it’s bland add a couple pinches of salt and maybe a touch of sweetener. Keep tasting and adjusting until you like the balance of flavors.
Make the salad: Thoroughly rinse the kale and remove the stems. Cut into bite sized 1″ ribbons. Put the kale in a large bowl, toss with a few tablespoons of dressing and set aside for about 20-30 minutes.
Add the sliced strawberries and chopped cabbage and toss in a little more dressing if needed. Top with the pumpkin seeds.