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kale salad with lamb & peach

April 8, 2013

Three hundred and sixty-nine days ago I walked out of my office job for the last time, head high and ready to take on a month-long holiday and a planned foray into the world of becoming a self-employed, self-contained, wholly independent businesswoman.

Two months and eight days ago, I spent the first half-hour of my newly opened business peering not-so-surreptitiously out the window, hoping for my first students to please-please-please arrive, whilst Kuni from Head Office looked on, trying not to laugh.

That first day was a blur of bright eyes, nervous smiles and semi-garbled instructions.

And after that? Well, I don’t quite remember.

I know there were tears over accounting systems, paper cuts, stress-induced migraines and an ear infection that had me bed bound for more days than I could probably spare. I’m told there were furrowed brows and sweaty brows and dusty hands and tired muscles. I’m reminded that there were delighted faces, high-fives, mental breakthroughs and amazed parents.

I’ve done more maths in the last three months than I remember doing in the last ten years. I’ve read extracts from books that I’d never heard of and lost sleep wondering about endings.

It’s been a wonderful, horrible, ecstasy-filled, doubt-fuelled, almost-money-making adventure.

I tried (oh! how I tried!) to keep a couple of habits up in amongst of the mania. Monday morning brunches with besties, Tuesday night faux-family dinners, touch footy Wednesdays and market-day Saturdays (or should that be market-day Saturday, seeing as I didn’t make many more than that).

And when it all became too much, I’d breathe, stick myself in a downward dog, and when I’d gathered enough blood in the top of my head, grab the car keys and drive myself to whichever greengrocer struck my fancy.

It was usually the specials that netted them.

Two punnets of figs for $6. A 10kg box of raw olives for $25. A veritable bushel of late stone fruit.

Oh, and some kale. Dark green and bushy. Two bunches for $5 and me with no idea as to what to do with it.

This was dinner one night, a meal borne out of Mr Sheppardoo’s refusal to eat carbs after dark, the Bean’s request for lamb and my hankering for something green, leafy and warm.

We ate it alongside a big pot of home made pork meatballs and a side of Sean Connery in Finding Forrester.

I made it again just days later, but with figs replacing the peaches (a very, very good choice if you can get your hands on some).

And then again just a week or two after that, to take on a picnic in Centennial Park.

I bought more and more of the dark green, purported superfood as the skies grew darker and the air damper.

And then I forgot all about it in the weeks of sunshine just gone and promptly suffered a case of gastric acid imbalance so bad that I found myself quite badly bedridden. Again. There was no direct link between the two, I’m sure, but even as I type this from the relative safety of a restricted diet and some prescribed antacids, I’ve started to wonder.

Is my food making me sick?

It’s an idea I’ve grappled with since this particular ailment first struck me as a teenager. More so when the aches and pains and dizziness of frequent headaches kicked in. And then again as my immunity took a precipitous dive each May, failing to recover (even in part) until October was well clear.

I’m not sure what this means for the food you’ll be seeing here in the coming weeks and months. Perhaps is will be more wholesome, more grounded, more like the recipes you might see in a healthy living site than mine, which is more often than not filled with less-than-immunity-building treats. (Though one may argue otherwise once said that’s are consumed and tummies are rumbling happily).

Then again, perhaps not.

Kale Salad with Lamb & Peach
Serves: 4
 
Serves four as a main (unless they're really quite hungry) Yes, summer is gone and with it, it's fruity bounty, but this salad will work just as sweetly with a thinly sliced pear or two now that autumn had settled in. As far as the lamb goes, I've used both forequarter chops and lean loin and preferred the former for flavour, but needed a bit more to account for the bone. Choose a cut that suits your budget.
Ingredients
  • 500g lamb for pan frying (see note)
  • 1 bunch curly kale
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp seeded mustard
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 peaches
  • 250g haloumi
How to make it
  1. Heat a large wok or pan over the stovetop. Place the lamb in and cook until the fat has rendered from the meat and it is pink in the middle. Remove from heat and place it in your serving bowl to rest.
  2. Wash the kale well and tear the dark green leaves away from the lighter stalks, which are quite tough. Chop the leaves up roughly and then, returning your lamby pan to a low heat, toss them in to cook along with a crushed clove of garlic. Keep cooking, turning occasionally, until the mass of leaves has wilted to about one third of its size and the leaves have softened and become shiny. Remove the pan from the heat.
  3. Slice the rested lamb up, reserving any juices, and add to the wilted kale. Mix up the oil, mustard and vinegar in the serving bowl along with the meaty juices. Toss the kale and lamb in the serving bowl to coat.
  4. Just before serving, pan fry slices of haloumi and slice the peaches into wedges. Toss these through and scatter on top for a sweet and salty kick.


  • #1
    April 8th, 2013

    What a beautiful looking salad with those bright pieces of peach! I’m curious about kale – I haven’t tried it yet but it seems like it’s gained the status of a superfood. Well everything healthy goes down as a plus in my books 😀

  • #2
    April 8th, 2013

    You’ve been a busy lady but you’re doing what most people are afraid to do. So well done Shez. Whichever direction your cooking goes, I’m sure you’ll produce nothing but great dishes 🙂

  • #3
    April 8th, 2013

    The cow watermark on your pictures looks great. Congratulations on being your own boss. And still finding time to write. What a big, brave step to leave the secure world of law for the noble teaching profession. The students might be even keener if you bribe them with your glorious food, but then they’d grow up having a warped relationship with food (and bribes)…

  • #4
    April 10th, 2013

    I like haloumi in salad, it gives it some body. I’m not surprised that you are run down, given the stresses and excitement of the past few months for you. Hopefully the change in diet will help.

  • #5
    April 13th, 2013

    Woo hoo! Welcome back Shez! What an amazing and exciting time for you. I am sorry to hear you are not well and I look forward to your wonderful recipes in the weeks to come. No matter what they may be – I know you will be showing us some wonderful things.

  • #6
    April 20th, 2013

    Lamb and salad, yeooowww!! I never actually had kale like this before but I imagine it’d give such good flavour and texture in a salad, compared to normal lettuce. MMM… Good one as always, Shezzy!

  • #7
    April 29th, 2013

    What a lovely combination! I never would have thought of putting those ingredient together.

  • #8
    May 7th, 2013

    Hope you recover soon! Love that you find bargains to whip up this delicious looking salad, great combination too 🙂 I’ve never had kale before so not sure what to expect but will try this out!

  • #9
    Sue
    August 8th, 2013

    Love kale, it is good raw too. Just pull off stems and then cut into strips. I can’t wait to try this but what is haloumi?

  • August 8th, 2013

    Hi Sue,

    Haloumi is a squeaky cheese that tastes best warm and pan fried. Check your local deli for it!
    Shez

Shez