Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Recipe From The Obamas' 2012 Thanksgiving Menu: White House Kale Salad

Inspired by the First Lady's Kitchen Garden, a seasonal salad for the holiday table...
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have welcomed family and friends to their White House Thanksgiving celebration each year since 2009 for a feast that spotlights coveted family food traditions.  Next Thursday, with four more years to be thankful for, the First Family's Thanksgiving will be even more special.  The White House has released the recipe for the Kale Salad that will be served at the feast, as well as for the the brined Thyme-Roasted Turkey and Turkey Gravy that will be served.

Click here for full details about this year's Presidential Thanksgiving celebration, including the turkey recipes.

Mrs. Obama's Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn produces crops through all four seasons, and kale is still growing like gangbusters, as are other items included in Executive Chef Cris Comerford's savory Thanksgiving salad: Shallots, radishes, fennel, jalapeno peppers, and scallions.  Busy home chefs will be happy to know that the red wine and lemon juice dressing can be made two days ahead.  Check the sidebar of the blog for all White House recipes.

White House Kale Salad

Ingredients
For the salad:
*2 bunches young kale, washed and spun dry, stacked and cut into thin slices

*1 bulb fennel (fronds, stems and outer layer removed or reserved for another use), cored and thinly sliced

*4 radishes, thinly sliced

*2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced

*1 scallion, white and light-green parts, trimmed and thinly sliced

*4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved or cut into slivers

*4 ounces spiced Marcona almonds, about 1 Cup (see note)

For the dressing: 
*1 Cup olive oil

*1/4 Cup red wine vinegar

*Juice of 2 medium lemons, about 6 Tablespoons

*1 medium shallot, minced

*Salt

*Freshly ground black pepper

Method
1.  For the dressing: Combine the shallot, lemon juice and vinegar in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2.  For the salad: Place the kale in a large serving bowl. About 10 minutes before serving, add the dressing to taste and toss to coat evenly.

3.  Add the fennel, radishes, jalapenos, scallion, cheese and almonds, tossing to incorporate.

Serve immediately.

Notes: Marcona Almonds can be purchased, or made at home.  To make at home, whisk one egg white in a medium bowl, add 1 cup of marcona almonds and toss to coat. Combine 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin and 1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika in a separate medium bowl.  Add the almonds and toss to coat.

Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned, about 15 minutes, watching carefully to make sure they don't burn. Cool before tossing in the salad.

The salad dressing can be made ahead, and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Whisk to recombine before serving. 

*Photo by Eddie Gehman Kohan/Obama Foodorama