Broiled Kale Salad with Balsamic Plums and Tofu Ricotta

The time has come to start testing ideas for the holidays.

The criteria for holiday cooking: 1) the dish must be relatively quick and easy to make. We have a pretty big (extended) family these days and we're always on the go-go-go with little time for rest or ourselves, but when the holidays come around our schedules always seem to take it up a notch. Working full-time, being a mom, pretending to be Janis Joplin, finding the perfect gifts, cocktail hours, and last minute dinner parties take up the whole damn 24 hours (actually that's my life all the time, but for some reason November-January everything seems exponentially busier). That all being said the food has to be quick and easy to assemble; 2) the dish must taste/look more complex/fancier than it really is. The holidays are a magical time and the food should match; 3) the dish has to be cheap. I'm a giver. Gift giving is one of my favorite things and I'm good at it, too. I will recklessly spend my entire month's salary on the perfect gifts for my friends and family; which means I rarely have money left over for food; so I got to keep cheap.

I'm sure by now, you've probably guessed that this dish totes fits all three guidelines for what makes a great holiday dish;
  1. Quick? Check. It took me about 15 minutes start to finish to make this dish. Hell the oven didn't even get to preheat all the way.
  2. Fancy? Check. I mean look at it. The lighting sucks but that dish is beautiful. You can't deny that shit.
  3. Cheap? You know it! The dino kale cost about $.10 a leaf, the plums cost about $.35 per fruit, I used about $.10 worth of basil, and about $.74 worth of tofu; add all that together and a bit of extra change to cover the few other ingredients and you're spending less than $.75 per serving. Now, that's what I call cheap. 
This would make an excellent dish for a Christmas Cocktail party or a Friendsgiving Potluck. 

olive oil
4 large leaves of dino kale
4 plums, thinly sliced
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp fresh minced basil, divided
1 tsp agave
4.5 oz extra firm tofu, crumbled
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
pinch of nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp miso
juice from 1 lemon
pinch black pepper
  1. Preheat your broiler to high and do a light coating of olive oil on your completely intact kale leaves. Place on a cookie sheet and wait for the go ahead. 
  2. In a mixing bowl mix together the sliced plums, balsamic, 1 tbsp of basil, and agave; set aside.
  3. In another mixing bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients: tofu through black pepper (including the other tablespoon of basil), to make a ricotta cheese. 
  4. After everything is combined and the broiler is hot, pop the dino kale in for 2 minutes or less. The edges should start to brown, the inner portion of the leaf should be bright green, and the whole thing should be tender enough to eat but still have a little crunch to it. 
  5. Mound up the ricotta cheese and plums inside the kale and leaves and drizzle with the extra basil balsamic from the bottom of the plum bowl.


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