Yard to Table
The week before last my husband and I had a nice relaxing week in hot and sunny Arizona visiting his parents and family. I even got to see my friend Tara from high school who just so happens to live in the same town as my mother and father in law, which we realized via a facebook posting I made last year while visiting them…..never underestimate the power of social media. All in all we had a really nice time. It was kind of like a “stay-cation” except we stayed in his parents home, instead of ours. Scott and I were both able to really relax, rest and just be still. All of which are things iCARA about but never seem to allow myself to do frequently enough while I am here in NYC.
One of the things I love the most about our visits to Arizona is cooking meals for all of us in a spacious kitchen, grilling, and coming up with recipes that incorporate the ingredients growing right in my in law’s, Debbie & Jim, backyard. Specifically their 2 grapefruit trees.
As much as I love living and working in BK/NYC I do wish we had outdoor space and often fantasize about how cool it would it be to have something growing right outside my door that I could pluck little organic delicious citrusness from, whenever I like. I’ve tried the windowsill herb garden and it’s just doesn’t cut it, or maybe it’s that I forget to water it…either way its not a backyard. Scott and I frequently talk a big game about moving out of the city, maybe check out the west coast and do some time in Cali….about how nice it would be if things were “simpler”…all that good stuff. The truth is I don’t know if that will ever actually happen. This city has become so much a part of me and I love it. SO, for the unforeseeable future I will continue to appreciate Debbie and Jim’s sustainable barkyard grapefruit “farm”.
On our visit last year I googled recipes for things with grapefruit and mint so I could “forage” our meal AND because one of my favorite flavor combinations is grapefruit and mint. In my opinion the two go together like pb & j, or like Forrest said peas and carrots. I stumbled upon a great salad recipe I found on blissfulbblog and have been making a slight variation of it ever since. The salad, of course, has Grapefruit which is bursting with vitamin C, which supports cardiovascular health, supports the immune system, and leads to reduced risk of death from heart disease, cancer and stroke. Another main ingredient is my friend and yours…Kale. I just learned that green vegetables like Kale are the most powerful anti-breast cancer foods. Cruciferous vegetables, such as Kale, contain powerful anti-cancer compounds that halt the growth of breast cancer cells and promote excretion of estrogen. All the more reason to continue eating it.
Here is my recipe for….
Kale, Fennel, Coconut , Grapefruit & Mint Salad with Rice Wine Vinaigrette
What you need:
6 cups Kale
*I used mixed baby Kale for this particular Salad but you can use any Kale you like
1 Grapefruit peeled, seeded and segmented
1/4 cup Fresh torn mint leaves
1 Fennel bulb thinly sliced
1/2 cup Toasted Unsweetened Coconut Flake
1/4 cup Sunflower seeds
* or hazelnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds….your call really
For the dressing:
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 shallot minced
1/2 tsp agave or honey
* just to tone down the tart and tanginess of the lemon and rice wine vinegar along with the grapefruit
Season to taste with Salt & Pepper
* Scott’s mom had some great seasonings I also used and have since purchased
-Simply Organic, Citrus A’Peel Organic sesame seed, organic orange peel, organic lemon peel, organic garlic, organic onion, organic parsley, organic coriander, organic fennel seed.
- Simply Organic Garlic Pepper Organic garlic, organic black pepper, sea salt, organic onion, organic cane sugar, silicon dioxide, organic parsley
What to do:
Wisk together Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, Rice Wine Vinegar, Shallot, Agave, Salt and Pepper + any additional seasonings. Set Aside.
In a large bowl combine the Kale, Fennel and Mint leaves. Add 1/2 of the dressing to the bowl and massage the dressing into the Kale using your hands. The acidity from the citrus helps soften up the kale a bit. Do that for a few minutes. Then toss in the Coconut, Sunflower Seeds, Grapefruit and plate.
Serve with remaining dressing on the side for anyone who would like to add a bit more.
It is sooooooooooo good.