Kale Salad With Rosemary and Garlic Roasted Baby New Potatoes and Maple Bacon by Guest Chef Maria Martucci

2014-10-09

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STORY:

“I think it’s so essential to start your children on the right foods when they are young,” my Greek friend Maria Martucci shared with me when we bumped into one another in the library where we were each doing our own research about, what else, good food.

 I told Maria about the reading I had done on the subject of organic food and the effects of pesticides in genetically modified organisms.  These days you have to be a scientist, economist, political activist, environmentalist, and nutritionist just to put a bowl of beans on the table.

“Why do you think I became a food writer?” I told her.  “It’s the only job I can do and still cook my family dinner.”   

We laugh at our passion for cooking that comes from growing up with immigrant parents. 

Maria and I come from very similar backgrounds.  We both grew up inside our parents’ family restaurants (hers Greek, mine Italian), neither of us ate much processed food at the family table growing up, and we are both somewhat obsessed with subtly brainwashing our kids about the nutritional benefits of vegetables and fruits. 

Brain washing? Is this what our 18 years in office has come to?  Well, why not?  The packaged food industry has been brainwashing our kids since they were able to watch cartoons. If we aren’t the “good drug pushers”, who will be?

“But there is a balance,” I say as we exhale and step down off our organic fruit box to get real.

“Oh yeah,” Maria agrees, “you can’t go nuts or they’re just gonna go to their friends’ houses and hoard all the junk food there.  But at the same time, you can’t just give them McDonalds every day and then suddenly hand them a plate of pink grapefruit and fresh mint salad with a balsamic glaze.”

–Bbbbbzzzzzp!– Wait, balsamic glaze?

I had to stop our dietary gabfest and jot down that glorious grapefruit glaze. Maria will have a guest chef spot when grapefruits come into season in November.  We returned to the topic after I glanced at her dinner photos on her IPhone.

“You have to sort of meet the kids somewhere in the middle.  Like this Kale Salad I made my boys.  I know they love bacon.  So I start there.  I built this dish around the bacon that I know they will eat.”

The next thing you know, the kids are getting a taste for not just bacon, but the power house vegetable, kale. Maria massages the flavors right into the kale, and enhances the dish with her signature oven roasted garlic herb potatoes, and bejewels the salad with their beloved bacon. 

I have tasted Maria’s food before. It is nothing short of a spoonful of lemony love, drizzled with Greek wisdom, and roasted with generations of family care.

Ingredients

  • beautiful batch of kale
  • baby new potatoes
  • best quality bacon
  • EVOO
  • zest and juice of fresh lemons
  • salt, pepper, brown sugar

Method

Step 1

Cut your baby new potatoes in half.

Step 2

Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary sprigs and a few garlic cloves.

Step 3

Roast at 400° till tender.

Step 4

Cook your bacon until very crisp and cut up in small pieces.

Step 5

Clean kale and remove stem.

Step 6

The trick is to chop kale in bite size pieces.

Step 7

To the chopped kale add salt, pepper, brown sugar, lemon zest, olive oil and fresh lemon juice. Massage the mixture into the kale and keep mixing until all the ingredients are developed.

Step 8

Add potatoes and crispy bacon and enjoy.

 

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