I've been emboldened by my successes with raw kale salads. I know that if I massage the kale with the olive oil and the acid (lemon, vinegar), the kale will get tender and melty. The flavors have been incredible. So when I got a big, beautiful bunch of Swiss chard in my CSA box last week, I thought, "why not?" and onto Google I went. Up popped the inspiration for this salad, which D and I enjoyed on Saturday night. The perfect foil to the birthday celebration food we enjoyed on Friday for L's big family birthday celebration.
This served the two of us as a meal salad, although D did have about 3 ounces of turkey tips with it. I found it filling enough to eat on its own - plenty of protein from all those greens, the hemp seed and the walnuts. Lots of rich and satisfying flavor from the avocados (loving the 5/$5 avocados at Whole Foods this past week!). Definitely one I'll make again.
Avocado Massaged Swiss Chard Salad (adapted from the Good Food Collective)
1 bunch of Swiss Chard, stems removed Other salad greens as desired (I used red leaf lettuce from the farm share)
1 avocado, divided (mash one half for dressing, other half set aside for salad topping) 1 1/2 T EVOO 1 1/2 T balsamic vinegar Juice from 1 lemon Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 carrots, shredded 1 large tomato, diced 1/8 c. hemp seeds 1/2 c. walnuts, very roughly chopped Reserved half of avocado, diced
Tear chard and other salad greens, rinse well and spin dry. In a large bowl, mix mashed avocado, oil, vinegar, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Add salad greens and stir, completely coating greens with dressing mixture. Use your hands!
Add and stir in all desired salad toppings, excluding any of these you don't like, adding what you do. Hemp seeds are a great source of vegetable protein, but hard cooked eggs or cooked chicken/turkey would be good too.
Allow salad to “marinate” in dressing mixture for 10 minutes before serving. The avocado and olive oil soften the greens up nicely, making it very easy and enjoyable to eat the chard raw in a salad. This would work great with kale, too.
Serves 2 – 4, depending on if salad is used a meal or as a side.