olive, feta & kale salad

March 7, 2014 § 1 Comment

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From vacation mode back to work mode without much pause in between. I am so glad I wrote a couple posts on San Diego, it allowed me to live it a little longer. And now all of a sudden it feels like ages ago. I think the words “I need a vacation” even came out of my mouth in the past week or so. I’m not sure why I can’t keep the vacation vibe longer, but I can’t, and this time was no different. Which brings me to my next point. As soon as we got home from California, we booked our honeymoon. We couldn’t wait to get away again, this time to Europe!

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I have been lucky in my life so far to see a lot of Europe already. I studied abroad in Florence and while I was there, I toured most of Southern Italy. I have been to Dublin, which mostly involved walking around from church to pub in the rain. I went paragliding in the Alps of Switzerland and indulged in chocolate and cheese fondue. I’ve experienced the beautiful bold colors and dancing of Barcelona and the old-age feel of Brussels. We went to Paris just last year and soaked in every bit of the city that we could in just a week’s time. And soon we’ll be off to London and Northern Italy.

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I thought London would be a nice honeymoon transition for us. We will be exhausted from the days leading up to the wedding and being able to understand the language of the country we’ll be visiting first will help. I have dreamed about visiting Lake Como. I almost made it pretty close. I was suppose to go to Milan for a school fieldtrip, but it was cancelled at the last minute, so any place in Italy above Bologna is a mystery to me. London will be our city escape and I’m hoping Lake Como and Venice will give us that old-family charm we are looking for too. I think the travel bug has nabbed us; we are very excited to check these few places off of our long list of must-sees!

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Serves 4
Inspired by Sprouted Kitchen

3/4 cup quinoa
3-4 cups kale leaves, lightly chopped
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
sea salt and fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced

Bring 3/4 cup of quinoa and 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Once boiling, cover and turn the heat down to low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the water is absorbed. Once cooked, remove from heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Allow to cool completely, uncovered.

Remove the stems from the kale with a knife or your hands. Work in batches and chop into bite size pieces. Put the kale in a large bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix until kale is lightly coated and shiny.

In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon olive oil, cider vinegar and Dijon mustard. Pour dressing over the kale and toss to coat. Add the cooled quinoa and toss. Top with the feta, tomatoes, olives and salt and pepper to taste. Toss again. Enjoy at room temperature or chilled from the refrigerator.

Because kale is a hearty green, this is a great salad that won’t get mushy overnight, so don’t worry if you have leftovers.

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