Wintery Kale Salad

The holidays were a bit hectic for us this year. We meant to post this salad pre-Christmas (doesn't it look Christmas-y?) but somehow that never happened. Now it's almost the second week of January and I'm just now finding time to sit down and write up a post. How does the time slip by so fast!?

For Christmas, Noah and I flew down to Bishop, California where my brother and his fiancee (!) recently moved and my parents joined us from Vermont. Fun things we did there: a sunset hike to the Druid Stones, a soak in a natural hot spring with nothing but the mountains and big sky surrounding us, scrambling around the ButtermilksStar Wars up in Mammoth, a walk around Mono Lake, and many, many moments playing with the cats. There were also some good laughs during Cards Against Humanity and lots of wine and good food. And Noah got to go snowboarding. Fun times. 

After Bishop (and a terrible pair of flights) we arrived back in Seattle for a night before heading out for second Christmas at Noah's parents place in Sequim. Noah treated us to his awesome homemade sourdough pizza and I succeeded in making some delicious sourdough cinnamon rolls which I will most definitely be making again. There was also a road trip to Port Townshend, cider tasting at Finn River, lots of puzzle time, and pre-bed soaks in the hot tub under the stars.

Overall it was a great few weeks, but I'm definitely glad to be home :)

// Wintery Kale Salad // serves 4-6
This winter salad would be a great addition to a Christmas dinner or for a New Year's celebration. Pomegranates are in season during the winter months and they're one of my favorite fruits. A bit of a pain to get all the seeds out, but definitely worth the effort. If pomegranates don't work for you, then mandarin oranges would be really tasty or even sliced up persimmons. 

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
1 cup water or broth
2 bunches lacinato kale, washed, dried, and de-stemmed
1 pomegranate, seeds removed
1 cup sliced almonds, toasted
4-8 oz goat cheese
salt to taste

1. Whisk together the dressing ingredients (lemon juice through black pepper)

2. Add quinoa and water/broth to a small sauce pot. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to simmer, cover, and let cook for 20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes

3. Tear the kale into bite sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Add a splash of the dressing and massage the kale with your hands until its starts to turn deep green and becomes tender

4. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and add to the kale. Add rest of dressing and mix well. Season with salt as needed

4. At this point you can either add the pomegranate seeds and almonds to the bowl or you can dish up the kale into bowls/plates and sprinkle the seeds and almonds on top. Top with crumbled goat cheese