Homer Simpson, who is a an oft-quoted figure in my house, once famously said “You don’t make friends with salad.”
On this particular point, Homer and I are going to have to disagree, because I totally made friends with salad last month at the Cooking with CUTCO #FoodiesForever blogger event.
Along with several other local bloggers, I was treated to an evening of food and wine courtesy where we learned all about CUTCO’s products and how important a good knife is in meal preparation. My group was led by the lovely Dawn, who works as an emergency room nurse when she’s not selling CUTCO knives… so really, if you’re going to play with sharp implements in the kitchen, she’s exactly the kind of person you want on hand to supervise! :)
My group also included a trio of ladies from Burger Broads, who are honestly some of the funniest women I have had the pleasure of cooking with. I’ve had the privilege of chatting with one of their ringleaders, Sharon, a few times on Twitter, and let me tell you… this gal is hi-la-ree-ous (and she really knows her burgers, too). Mad love to those ladies.
This was very much a hands-on sort of class, since we were not just learning about knives but also preparing our own dinner. My particular favourite from the evening’s menu was a Kale-Citrus Salad made of shredded kale salad tossed with a simple vinaigrette and brightened up with orange segments and pumpkin seeds, which I swear will turn even the biggest kale doubter into a kale lover.
I’ve since made a few tweaks to the original, mostly to satisfy my obsession with putting as much stuff into my salads as possible, which in this particular case means adding in rich briny oil-cured black olives, shreds of sharp red onion, and buttery chunks of avocado. It’s pretty much a meal in itself, though it’s also fabulous with grilled meats or fish.
Another of my favourites from that night is the shiny new CUTCO trimmer knife that came home in my goodie bag. In the weeks since the event, it’s pretty much become my everyday go-to knife.
It’s comfortable in my hand and wickedly sharp, and pretty much puts every other knife in my kitchen to shame (not that it’s that hard, given that I own some really crappy knives, especially for someone who spends as much time cooking as I do). I have a feeling it won’t be the only CUTCO in my knife block for long!
And yes, I totally used it to make this salad. :)
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 navel orange, peeled and cut into segments
- 1 small avocado, cut into bite-sized chunks
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ¼ cup oil-cured black olives
- ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds
- Remove the tough centre ribs from the kale and discard. Finely julienne the leaves.
- In a large bowl, combine the kale with olive oil and salt. Gently massage the dressing into the kale for about 3 minutes.
- Add lemon juice, honey and black pepper, and massage again. Let sit for 2-3 minutes to allow the flavours to blend, then gently toss in the remaining ingredients and serve immediately.