Warm Kale and Roasted Potato Salad

Potato salad. Two words that strike fear in Simon’s heart. As one who despises most condiments—he holds a special place in hell for mayonnaise in particular—traditional potato salads make him queasy. So I wanted to create a summer salad, that could be enjoyed both warm or cold and that wouldn’t send him running. Plus, I wanted a lighter salad that wouldn’t cause me to feel sluggish in this unbearable heat.

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Then again, I am the person who chose to roast potatoes in the oven when it was 105°F out. My logic is questionable at best. If you don’t have AC, perhaps this is a dish best left for cooler days…just a warning. Can I just lament once again over the heat? I know you’re probably tired of hearing about it but it so hot. People keep telling me that eventually I will get used to it and to these heat-crazed devils I politely smile, and back away. I don’t trust your sun worshiping ways.

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I’ve become a hermit this summer. Sulking behind drawn blinds, fancying my AC an altar at which I pray for summer breezes and rain showers, swapping my morning hot coffee for iced…the rituals go on and on. I truly wonder if I was born in the wrong place at the wrong time. I crave weather as cold as my heart, I think I said my mother that once as a teenager.

Warm kale and potato salad

In any event, I’m struggling against a warm current. But I’m grateful that despite all my complaints I can spend my days indoors, cooking, and eating, and dreaming of winter—which in LA means cloudy skies and 60 degree weather. Whatever, I’ll take it.

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I elected to keep everything for this dish simple; kale, roasted potatoes, tons of roasted garlic and fresh lemon, a splash of olive oil, and a sprinkling of shallots and kalamata olives. Bold flavors and fresh ingredients make a seemingly simple salad vibrant and flavorful. This would be perfect chilled on a picnic—plus no dairy means it is less likely to spoil. It’s also nice served warm on a summer afternoon or evening. It’s hearty enough to stand-alone but also makes a great side!

What are your favorite summer salad recipes?

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Warm Kale and Roasted Potato Salad
Serves 4
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  1. 1 lb. mini potatoes
  2. 1 bulb roasted garlic (recipe follows)
  3. ¼ cup lemon juice
  4. ¼ cup olive oil, plus more for roasting
  5. A few sprigs of rosemary
  6. 1 ½ cups cooked lentils
  7. 8 cups kale leaves, torn
  8. ½ cup thinly sliced shallots
  9. ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
  10. Salt and Pepper
  1. Roast the Garlic
  2. Pre-heat the oven to 350 °F.
  3. Trim the head off of a bulb of garlic, so that the cloves are exposed (I cut off about ¼ inch).
  4. Drizzle a little olive oil over the exposed garlic cloves.
  5. Wrap garlic in foil and bake in the oven for about 45 minutes. Sometimes I’ll set the wrapped garlic on a baking sheet to catch any potential oil spills.
  6. Check it occasionally to be sure it doesn’t burn. The exact time will depend on the size of the bulb. You are looking for soft cloves with a light to medium, golden brown coloring.
  7. Let cool before removing cloves form the skin. I use my fingers, because I am a wild animal, but I suppose you could also use a fork or something.
  8. Make the Salad
  9. About halfway through roasting the garlic roast the potatoes.
  10. Rinse and halve mini potatoes. Arrange potatoes and rosemary on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  11. Drizzle with 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
  12. Roast for about 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  13. Meanwhile place lentils and kale in a large bowl.
  14. Place roasted garlic in a small bowl with ¼ cup olive oil, lemon juice, and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  15. When potatoes are ready place immediately in bowl with kale and lentils and toss with garlic lemon mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
  16. Cover with foil or a plate and allow salad to sit for about 5 minutes until kale begins to wilt.
  17. Top with shallots and olives.
  18. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.
  19. Salad can be warmed in the oven (250°F), in a heat-proof bowl, for about 15-20 minutes if desired.
  20. Enjoy!
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