Hello, all! This is my first post on A Cookable Feast in a year and a half, and writing it admittedly felt daunting at first. But now, as I put the finishing touches on it, I’m feeling very happy to be back.
After blogging pretty consistently on here for almost three years, I hit a wall in early 2018. I posted only twice that year and not at all in 2019 – despite establishing a goal for myself in the beginning of that year to post recipes monthly!
I created and photographed this Tuscan Kale, Cannellini, and Prosciutto Salad recipe in 2018. I meant to post it in 2019 – and then earlier this year, when it was more seasonally appropriate. A salad made with prosciutto, kale, Parmesan cheese, and a maple balsamic dressing doesn’t exactly scream spring, does it? But I decided to post it now because I’ve been really wanting to get back into blogging here – and given the extra time I have on my hands due to life-impacting world events, I figured I really have no excuse to get this up.
For those of you who have had your lives or your loved ones’ lives impacted in terrible ways by COVID-19, I am sorry, and I am thinking about you and sending love your way. This situation really sucks for you, and I hope that you are able to grieve, heal, and move through it.
And to those who are out on the front lines risking your lives to help the ill and keep the world turning: you first responders, medical professionals, grocery store employees, sanitation workers, postal carriers, and anyone else working a public-facing job deemed essential: thank you, thank you, thank you for your service!
Few people have not had their lives affected in some way by this virus. Those of us who have been fortunate to stay healthy and have our loved ones stay healthy and be able to work our jobs remotely may find ourselves still struggling with this stay-at-home thing – even as we feel extremely privileged to be able to practice social distancing.
I’ve found cooking to be a wonderful form of distraction and self-care at this emotionally challenging time. Channeling my energy into making something gives me a sense of satisfaction and comfort – and of course, I enjoy the eating part, too.
What I like about this Tuscan Kale, Cannellini, and Prosciutto Salad is that its hearty; it’s of comfort-food stock. I know “comfort food” isn’t the term that jumps to mind when one thinks of salad – but this is a salad with greens that aren’t only nutritious, but stick-to-your-ribs substantial; that has creamy Parmesan cheese, salty prosciutto, and a sweet-yet-zesty maple balsamic dressing bringing major flavor vibes; that gets a protein punch from cannellini beans and toasted pinenuts. Tuscan Kale, Cannellini, and Prosciutto Salad is more than up to the task of being your comfort-food ally.
Here’s to staying safe, staying home, helping those in need and spreading light where we can, and cooking as both a means of sustenance and diversion. Now, on to the recipe!
Hearty kale, creamy Parmesan, rich prosciutto, and a flavorful maple balsamic dressing help characterize this salad as a stick-to-your-ribs, super-tasty type!
Place chopped kale in a large mixing bowl.
Add prosciutto to a frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook until browned, stirring frequently, about three to four minutes. Remove from pan and let rest on a plate lined with paper towels.
Add pinenuts and two teaspoons of oil to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir frequently and cook until pinenuts are lightly toasted, which should only take a few minutes. Set aside.
To a mason jar or similar such vessel with a lid, add the dressing ingredients: the olive oil, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and fresh-ground black pepper. Cover with lid and shake vigorously until ingredients are well incorporated.
Toss prosciutto, pinenuts, cannellini beans, Parmesan, and dressing (amount to taste) with the kale in the mixing bowl. Bask in the sweet-and-savory salad goodness you've just created and get down to the best part: the eating part!
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