This is also generally my favorite type of competition on cooking shows: Can a “real” chef make a dish sing without access to an endless supply of ingredients and seasonings?*
*Also, WERE the fearless leaders of the Recipe Redux psychic? Because this was the EXACT SAME CHALLENGE from last week’s All-Star Academy…
With few ingredients, it means you’ve got to choose good ones, right? And the deliciousness factor can come from either the comfort of a traditional pairing…or the surprise of an unusual one.
Confession: this wasn’t really my idea.
At a recent viewing of The Bachelor, my friend Alexa made spaghetti with kale pasta sauce, and a salad made with apples, walnuts, shaved Parmesan cheese, served with a balsamic vinaigrette. [Oddly (?) this all paired well with slices of my Irish Oatmeal Brown Bread with Rosemary, Walnuts, & Dates.] After discussing our mutual, current adoration/obsession with walnuts, I dug in…and was pleasantly surprised by the sweet, savory, tart, and salty combination of everything on my plate.
So, I recreated the pairing(s) as best I could in the form of a kale salad (my favorite) with a basic vinaigrette (although you could use your preferred store-bought variety and reduce the number of ingredients by one) and simple toppings. You even have room to add some extra protein in the form of beans (vegans and vegetarians) or chicken (omniviores).
Balsamic Kale Salad with Apples, Walnuts, & Parmesan
- Chopped and de-stemmed kale
- Chopped sweet tart apples (I like Ambrosia or Fuji.)
- Walnuts, toasted and chopped
- Parmesan cheese, shaved or shredded
- Balsamic vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Extra protein element (optional) for a “full meal”: beans, chicken, etc.
- Whisk togther balsamic vinegar and olive oil in desired proportion.
- Place kale in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour vinaigrette over kale and massage greens, using hands. (Get messy!)
- Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes, but longer is better!
- Before serving, top with remaining ingredients and toss lightly.
Want more 7-Ingredient (or Less) Recipes? If you also want more balsamic vinegar in your life, check out my Balsamic White Bean Dip with Fennel Seed (that also–clearly–works as a sandwich spread).
Otherwise, check out other Redux-ers Recipes below.