Wyoming style

How To Make A (Literal) Farm Fresh Kale Salad

This may be the perfect salad for right now: Hearty enough to stave away the cold, but green enough to counter all those holiday cookies.

It’s November in northern Wyoming, and only a few hardy (and hearty!) survivors remain in the garden that’s provided for us all through the long-gone summer. Still growing to see the first snows fall are: Two varieties of kale (curly and lacinto/Tuscan), Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. These brave garden varieties gave me the inspiration for this kale salad recipe. I topped them off with a few other ingredients, all homegrown and readily available from my family’s farm.

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Our chicken flock is a mixed bag, from Plymouth Rock to Orpington to Rhode Island Red and some other exotic feathered hens I don’t know the name of, and they’re still laying strong despite their production slowing down some with the coming of the cold. For me, there’s nothing better than a rich, golden-yolked egg on top of a fresh salad. So, after picking some of the garden’s last offerings, I head down to the coop to gather some multi-colored eggs.

I head to the kitchen with my egg and veggie bounty, and pluck a fat, still-ripening tomato from the counter to add to the mix. The tomato plants are long gone from the garden, but many of their insanely abundant red and juicy fruits remain, ready to add succulent flavor to any dish.

Last, but not least, I grab a New York Strip steak from the fridge—the offering of an all-natural, grass-fed Charolais steer raised on my family’s land, and butchered in the local, family-owned butcher shop that my dad opened earlier this year.

So now we have all the fixings for a truly farm fresh kale salad, with each ingredient coming straight from the love and land of my family’s farm/ranch. Maybe you’re not currently living on a farm such as this, but, if you can, try to find as many of these ingredients as possible from smaller-scale, local operations …or at least from growers that are intentional and transparent about how they cultivate and care for their crops, livestock and land.

When you’ve got the added flavor of supporting a passionate farmer/rancher, you just can’t help but taste the love. That hand-tended nurturing is, to me, what provides the best of this salad’s simple nourishment.

FARM FRESH KALE SALAD RECIPE

(Makes enough for two to share a hearty, fresh and feel-good lunch or light dinner …or for one with plenty of leftovers.)

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch curly green kale
  • 1 bunch lacinto/Tuscan kale
  • 12 Brussels sprouts (about two handfuls)
  • 1 cup broccoli
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 farm fresh eggs
  • 1 (12 ounce) grass-fed New York strip steak
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons grass-fed butter
  • 2 tablespoons water

Equipment

  • 1 large cast-iron skillet
  • 1 oven mitt
  • 1 section of foil
  • 2 spatulas
  • 1 chef’s knife
  • 1 large skillet
  • 2 cutting boards
  • 1 medium salad bowl
  • 1 steak knife or carving knife
  • 1 set salad servers
  • 2 bowls or plates
  • 1 medium skillet

Directions

1. Set steak on cutting board and sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over steak. Heat large cast-iron skillet over high heat, add 1 tablespoon coconut oil and swirl to coat pan. Add steak to pan, cook 3 minutes on each side or until brown. Reduce heat to medium-low; add 1 tablespoon butter (if you’d like, you can also add 1 clove crushed garlic) to pan. Use oven mitt to grasp handle of pan and tilt pan toward you so butter pools; cook 1 ½ minutes, continually basting steak in butter. Remove steak from pan; cover loosely with foil, let stand 10 minutes.

2. In another large skillet, add 1 tablespoon coconut oil and heat over medium-high. Add Brussels sprouts to skillet, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook the Brussels sprouts, stirring often, for 8-10 minutes or until caramelized. Add a couple tablespoons of water and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Remove Brussels sprouts from heat.

3. Place both varieties of kale on cutting board and use chef’s knife to cut out the ribs of the kale leaves. Chop the kale into small, bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle a dash of sea salt over the kale and add a dime-sized amount of coconut oil to the kale then massage, gently crunching kale in your hands. Transfer kale to medium salad bowl.

4. Place broccoli on cutting board. Cut broccoli into bite-size pieces using the chef’s knife. Add broccoli to medium salad bowl over bed of kale.

5. Transfer sautéed Brussels sprouts to salad bowl.

6. Place tomato on cutting board. Stand tomato on its side, trim off a thin slice on the stem end to remove the top. Continue slicing, making even, parallel cuts along the tomato toward its bottom. Slice tomato slices in half again and add tomatoes to salad bowl on top of kale, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.

7. Remove steak from foil, place back on cutting board. Use a steak knife or carving knife to cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Add steak to salad bowl.

8. Toss salad (kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tomato, and steak) in salad bowl using salad servers.

9. Use salad servers to transfer salad into two bowls or onto two plates as preferred.

10. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Gently break two eggs into pan, cooking slowly until whites are completely firm. Slide spatula under each egg and flip. Use spatula to remove each egg, adding an egg to the top of each salad. Sprinkle salt and pepper over each over easy egg.

11. Dig in and enjoy your farm fresh kale salad!

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