Thanksgiving is just one week away, but for me, the holiday season has already begun. You see, we celebrated our 2nd anniversary (with an incredible meal at Clifton Inn) the first weekend of November; flew to Texas for my Grandad’s 80th birthday party the second weekend on November; and traveled to Providence and Boston last weekend, where we celebrated my 27th birthday, among other things. Next week, we will spend Thanksgiving with both sets of parents, followed quickly by Del’s birthday, and then, before we know it, Christmas.
Yes, for us, the holiday season begins with November, as we steadily celebrate our way into January. It can become a blur of food, family, and fun; a marathon, not a sprint, to be sure.
Times like these, it’s hard to avoid the tendency to label food as “good” or “bad”; hard to maintain a semblance of balance and normalcy amidst the feasting, partying, and general merriment. Balance not just in terms of food, but also exercise, sleep, alone time, work time, play time, time for the two of us, etc.
I do pretty well with the whole food thing. Most of the time, I’m just as happy with a salad as I am with a piece of pie, so my concerns tend to be more worrying about what might be rather than what has actually happened– I’m still working on letting go of the anxiety that comes from not being 100% in control all of the time…
More importantly, though, gorgeous salads like this one, which I made for the Beyond the Flavor “Friendsgiving” dinner a few weeks ago, make eating a bowl full of kale feel pretty decadent in and of itself. The pomegranate adds a seasonal flair, and the balsamic almonds are just perfect.
Kale & Pomegranate salad
Adapted from A Tasty Love Story
- 10 – 12 Large Lacinato (dinosaur) Kale leaves
- 1 pomegranate
- 3/4 cup almonds (100 g)
- 2 Tbsp balsamic
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- Salt & pepper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees; spread almonds on rimmed baking sheet. Dry roast the almonds for 1-2 minutes. Add the balsamic and roast until it is absorbed; as soon as it is gone add the honey and stir. Roast for 5 minutes more, watching closely so they don’t burn. Remove from oven and let them cool; then chop them coarsely.
- Wash and dry the kale. Remove the stems and slice the leaves into thin ribbons.
- Prepare the pomegranate.
- Make the dressing by stirring (or shaking) everything thoroughly together season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Toss kale, pomegranate arils, and almonds together with the dressing; let sit at least 10 minutes for flavors to absorb.