HAIL KALE!

Cruising World - - Underway -

In the United States th­ese days, kale is ev­ery­where. It took off as an ed­i­ble plant when an ad agency branded it a “superfood.” Then Bon Ap­pétit mag­a­zine pro­claimed 2012 to be “the Year of Kale.” Now, ev­ery large su­per­mar­ket car­ries at least two va­ri­eties. § Be­fore we cut the dock lines and sailed away from our home in Wash­ing­ton, D.C., aboard Del Viento, our 1978 Fuji 40, I jumped aboard the kale band­wagon — and fell in love with this sim­ple salad. It was a weekly sta­ple in our house ashore, but I didn’t imag­ine kale would be easy to find abroad; I thought this salad was yet an­other thing we’d have to learn to do with­out in our lives afloat. For­tu­nately, this kale-lov­ing cook dis­cov­ered that much of the rest of the world eats kale too — and some have been do­ing it for a very long time. In Mex­ico and Canada, we had lit­tle trou­ble find­ing it. Dur­ing our first 18 months in the South Pa­cific, kale was scarce. Then we landed in Fiji, where Fi­jians grow or­ganic kale lo­cally and sell it at a low price. Hail kale! This fa­vorite salad is back in our weekly ro­ta­tion. § This salad has an added bonus for ev­ery boat cook: It can be made ahead of time! It’s good just af­ter it’s made, but it’s even bet­ter if it sits for up to an hour (or even longer) af­ter it’s dressed be­fore serv­ing. It’s also still ex­cel­lent hours later — kale is a hearty green, and let­ting it “mar­i­nate” in the dress­ing only im­proves its tex­ture and taste. — Michael Robert­son

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