kale salad with pecorino and pomegranate

after what felt like the mental state of an bear’s extended hibernation naptime these past weeks, almost like living in a dream and not really active or attentive (in relation to the people around me), i now feel refreshed, just like you would after a good night’s sleep. i’m not questioning where it comes from! but, it’s like i’m suddenly more active again, like suddenly all senses are at maximum alertness and capacity, willing and determined to take in the beauty of life. it’s unbearable for any longer periods of time to just be numb, blunt and downright lethargic. and it’s a good feeling to be back to my usual, go-getting self, really, because i was already wondering where that part of me went. how good to be able to enjoy the little things and appreciate what life has to offer. maybe a simple soup dinner, or a chestnut that you are lucky to brush with your toe and pick up (gotta love the touch of chestnut ‘skins’), or simply a hot shower before falling into bed at night. it’s not really big steps, it’s baby steps and baby pleasures. but i believe we must make the little things count and noteworthy, and sharpen our minds to notice them. and that it’s our duty, too, to point them out to other people around us. our friends and family, who are, maybe, still in the temporary, fall-induced ‘numb-state’. make the days count.
ps: about this salad… so kale isn’t exactly super common around here. and just for the record, for my fellow swiss readers: kale usually goes by ‘federkohl’ or ‘braunkohl’, and though it obviously grows here, it’s available solely at farmers’ markets and in globus and other specialty stores (i find). and we most certainly haven’t discovered it as the ‘superfood’ that it (apparently or obviously) is. what others – like the us – use as their daily superfood health injection still goes unnoticed around here. or, if it is part of a dish at all, then mostly cooked to death in heavy stews, unspecific soups or other dishes generally associated with german sausages and, well, all the stuff i wouldn’t eat. but raw (sic!) kale – enjoyed as a salad! a thing not really heard of around here. so, to all of us out there who are a little bit slower than others: kale is super – and kale is the new superfood! meaning: it’s got tons of stuff in it that’s really good for you. i kinda knew some things about all-the-rage-superfoods, in general (add blueberries, pomegranates, ginger etc. to the list…). but not really all that much, not really in depth. ahem. so, my new, fabulous friend sylvia of superfoodista tought me a thing or two that’s to know about a superfood rich, aka healthy, diet. check out her blog for inspiration, it’s fabulous! blueberries everywhere (and who doesn’t like blueberries, really?). now sylvia, i’m pretty sure she would approve of this (almost raw*) kale salad here. right, sylvia? please nod your okays (because honestly, people are watching… but no pressure…). okay, she just nodded. phewww. she likes my swiss take on superfood-kale. yay! close-shot.

*okay so that’s that. and now a teeny-tiny little confession. about this kale (yay!) salad being almost raw. i must say i didn’t dare really making this dish an altogether raw one… just yet. firstly, because it just smelled a bit downright yucky kale-y. so i very quickly blanched it, for really just like 10 seconds (i swear i didn’t kill any vitamins, sylvia!). two benefits of the blanching: it made the kale even more intense in color, softened it up and made the kale-y stink smell leave. of course, when blanched, the superfood benefits are probably somewhat limited (duh, you are so annoying, you health gurus… i love hate you). i got it, the whole world eats effing raw kale… but let me just say that i think this whole raw / paleo / fruitarian diets that are all the rage in hollywood, they’re a little gross. like, i’m a fan of raw myself, but just not ‘too raw’, or ‘raw everything’. i like my vegs cooked. actually: roasted. charred. because? because it just tastes better, okay? also, because i’m no rabbit. and i think that’s a binding criterion, actually. i know, i have no determination whatsoever… i’m a superfoodie at heart – but i’m just a lazy old comfort-eater when it comes down to it… shmock. sorry, sylvia. we can still be friends, though, right?

anyway, so my instagram friend dare2beher recommended massaging (honestly. no kidding. no, i’m not pulling your leg.) the raw kale leaves (i almost wanted so say limbs) with extra virgin olive oil instead of cooking it. massaging, you guys. so, yes, i’d give that a shot next time around (and i’m scared, yes). it will probably take forever and i’ll probably end up having a personal relationship to the kale and won’t want to eat it anymore after because i feel sorry for it him (so much for being a fruitarian.. i’d suck at that)… but hey. i’m always open to try new things. so, where can i get special kale-massage-oil? hummm? my kale will thank you. oh, and happy weekend! make it count.

kale salad with pecorino and pomegranate*
* not massaged, without a facial, no mani, no pedi done on it, not raw, but almost and just as good (for you). take this, paleo dietarians!

3 cups kale
1 pomegranate
1 cup pecorino
1 lemon, juice
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 knife point harissa
1 tsp. maldon sea salt


bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. finely chop (or shred, but i wouldn’t know with what device, really…?) the kale (the stripes can be fine and long). quickly (for like 10 seconds, because we don’t want to kill all the vitamins, right?) blanch the kale in the hot water, then drain and immediately submerge in ice water. leave there for a couple of minutes, then remove, drain and pat dry (with kitchen paper). pat it really dry, important! remove the seeds from the pomegranate (by submerging the halves in a bowl of water, it’s mess-free), grate a cupful of pecorino and make a dressing with the olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup and harissa. pour the dressing over the kale, add pecorino and pomegranate seeds. stir to combine (yes, use your hands). i recommend you season with salt only now, as the pecorino is usually very salty and adds enough oomph already.
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