Kale, Mint & Sausage Salad with Mustard Dressing
Our SECOND PRIZE WINNER of the Share Your Best Recipe Contest
From Lisa Crowley
1 bunch curly kale (purple or green), as fresh as possible, preferably organic (b/c it tastes better).
1 bunch (or several sprigs) fresh mint. (NOT spearmint or peppermint; just regular old mint).
1/2 to 1 C Montchevre crumbled goat cheese. (That’s the one I see already crumbled at my local supermarket, but any brand will do).
1/2 C shelled pistachios
1 package Italian style chicken sausage. (Chicken has a more subtle flavor than pork, which works well in this salad, but you can try pork if you like and see if it works).
Wash and dry kale and mint. Set aside.
Cook chicken sausage: grill, pan fry, or steam it. If it’s pre-cooked, just warm it up until the skin starts to split a little. If grilling, try not to burn it; strong charcoal taste won’t add anything to this salad.
While chicken cooks: Remove kale leaves from stalks and hand shred into large salad bowl. Remove mint from stalks and do the same. (Mint leaves can also be roughly chopped, but hand shredding is fine; the pieces should be on the larger side anyway).
Add pistachio nuts and crumbled goat cheese.
If chicken is done, remove from heat and set aside. Begin the salad dressing.
Ingredients: Mustard dressing with oregano
salt and pepper to taste
You will now learn to make dressing the Italian way, with no exact measurements; everything will be “to taste”, and consistency.
Take 2-3 tablespoons of mustard and put in a bowl. Add fresh oregano (you’ll want to mince this into fairly small pieces), say about 1 tablespoon of it. Then add olive oil. Whisk it up. Taste it before adding salt (especially! Mustard is already salty) and pepper. If you’ve added a reasonable amount of olive oil and it’s still kind of thick, add small amounts of water until it “flows” more easily. You’ll want a consistency like buttermilk. Now, taste again for “mustardness”. You want to taste the mustard, but not be bowled over by it; the oregano needs to come through a little. This will depend on the type/brand of mustard you used, as well as the olive oil (for instance I use “green” olive oil: extra, extra virgin and first cold pressed, so it has a strong flavor, but you can use whatever you’ve got on hand). Keep tasting and adding any of the above ingredients until you’ve got a nice balance of mustard and oregano, and it flows without being too watery. Don’t be afraid to play around with it until you get it the way you like it. It’s only salad dressing! Whisk one last time and set aside.
Take chicken and slice into about 1 inch pieces; add to salad bowl.
I usually cut the salad up at this point, b/c I like “bite sized” salad; or you can just toss the salad. Add dressing just before serving.
Jen says: The fresh mint combined with the crisp kale and salty pistachios and grilled sausage combination is perfection for the senses. Tossed with homemade Dijon oregano vinaigrette, this is an “out of the park” hit for outdoor summer dining.