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Dinner tonight! Chopped kale salad

September 14, 2012|By Noelle Carter
  • Chopped kale salad with lemon vinaigrette.
Chopped kale salad with lemon vinaigrette. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles…)

For dinner tonight, look no further than our most recent Culinary SOS from Allison Engel in Los Angeles, who writes:

"The chopped kale salad at the Napa Valley Grille in Westwood is the sort of healthy, interesting dish you could eat every day. In fact, a waitress there who recommended it told me she does exactly that. After I ordered it a few times, I saw her point. Can you pry the recipe loose from the restaurant?"

Chopped kale and romaine are tossed with quinoa, almonds, raisins and parmesan cheese, with a bright lemon vinaigrette added just before serving. Napa Valley Grille was happy to share its recipe, which we've adapted below.

For more quick-fix dinner ideas, check out our video recipe gallery. Food editor Russ Parsons and Test Kitchen manager Noelle Carter show you how to fix a dozen dishes in an hour or less.

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You can find Noelle Carter on Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest. Email Noelle at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

Napa Valley Grille's kale chopped salad

Total time: 45 minutes

Servings: 4 to 6

Note: Adapted from Napa Valley Grille in Westwood.

Lemon Vinaigrette

Juice of 3 lemons and grated zest of 1 lemon

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1 anchovy fillet, minced

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

2 basil leaves, cut in thin strips

Sea salt

Finely-ground pepper

In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, shallot, anchovy, cheese and basil. Season to taste with one-fourth teaspoon salt and one-eighth teaspoon pepper. This makes slightly more than one-half cup vinaigrette, more than is needed for the remainder of the recipe; the vinaigrette will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 1 week.

Kale salad

1/4 cup quinoa

1 romaine heart, chopped

1 head green kale, chopped

1/4 cup almonds, toasted

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Lemon vinaigrette

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil.

2. Meanwhile, place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse under cool running water to remove the outer coating of the quinoa (if not rinsed, the coating can give the quinoa a bitter flavor). Place the rinsed quinoa in a dry saute pan and toast, stirring frequently, until the quinoa is dry, lightly colored, and has a nutty aroma.

3. Place the toasted quinoa in the saucepan with the water, reduce the heat and simmer the quinoa until it is translucent and tender and the germ has spiraled out from the grain, 12 to 15 minutes (be careful not to overcook). Drain the quinoa and spread it out on a baking sheet to cool.

4. In a large bowl, combine the romaine, kale, quinoa, almonds, raisins and parmesan cheese. Add one-fourth cup vinaigrette and toss to lightly coat. Add additional vinaigrette as desired, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Each of 6 servings: 170 calories; 5 grams protein; 15 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams fiber; 11 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 5 grams sugar; 153 mg sodium.

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