Suzi's Blog

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Peaches and Pine Nuts


Kale is in. Quinoa stays in. Everyone loves peaches. And no one can turn down a pine nut — unless of course you are stuck with an allergy. In which case, just omit!

Kale, by the way, was also in about 800 years ago. Popular food in the dark ages, then the Middle Ages came and kale — for unknown reasons — just fell out of favor. Fortunately, it was still cultivated, new species have been created and now there is a kale boom. I do like kale chips but the best way to enjoy kale is just this way in a lovely salad with complementary flavors.

Honestly, this is a combination I would have had a bit of trouble imagining. But thanks to Linda Aldredge and Food and Wine Magazine, here’s an exciting different and thoroughly refreshing recipe. And it tastes just as good as it looks in that beautiful picture.

Here at Cooking by the Book, we made a few touches to the recipe, going for every bit of gusto. This was served last night to our monthly group of celiac patients and families. Working with the Columbia-Presbyterian Center for Celiac Disease, we have monthly events with a mission: just because you have celiac disease does not mean you have to lose a beat when it comes to food.

Last night’s menu was this salad, a spicy cod entry and flourless chocolate cake. Celiac or not, you’d love this meal. And, as a starter, this salad is a perfect preview for the evening. It’s a visual barrage as you look at the interesting kale, the nuts, the quinoa and the glistening reflections created by the dressing. It’s a trumpeting announcement that food is served.

The combination of ingredients here gives you an experience you will not have had. The peach is a lovely sweet touch, something you quickly notice with your eyes and immediately stab at with your fork. All to good reward.

This is an excellent summer salad, one that you can use with peaches, nectarines, plums or any other fruit of your choice. Berries? Why not?


Quinoa and Kale Salad with Peaches and Pine Nuts

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Servings: 6


Quinoa Salad:
  • 1 pound Tuscan kale stems discarded and leaves cut into ½-inch ribbons
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into ½-inch dice
  • ¾ cup toasted Quinoa
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup ripe peach slices about one medium peach (tossed with honey and lemon juice to taste depending on the ripeness of the peach)
  • 1 cup roasted sliced carrots
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup chiffonade mint leaves for garnish

In a medium saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the quinoa until al dente, following the package directions. Drain well and spread on a baking sheet to cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, toast the pine nuts over moderate heat, tossing occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool completely.

In a large bowl make the dressing: whisk mustard with the lemon juice and olive oil. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Add the kale, toss well and let stand until barely wilted, 15 minutes massaging well. Toss gently the quinoa, pine nuts, roasted carrots, peaches and red bell pepper to the Kale. Season the salad with salt and pepper. Garnish with mint if desired and serve.


Source: Adapted by Cooking by the Book from Food and Wine Magazine, August 2013

Photo Information Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/4 for 1/40th second at ISO‑1000



Loaded Potato Salad from Lunch by Gale Gand


The picture shows a red onion because I like red onions. I always put red onions in potato salad. How can it be potato salad without one?

Actually, this recipe from Gale Gand’s new Lunch present us with a very different potato salad, and a delicious one at that. Here there is no red onion, no vinegar, no pickles, no egg. Ah, there are potatoes. And cheddar cheese, and bacon.

The recipe title says “Loaded” and it is. The bacon flavor mates with the cheese and chives to form a really new vibrancy. The dressing, the classic dip mix of mayo and sour cream, is thick, rich and quite completely coats the potatoes. This salad is best served distinctly cold. And, while author Gale Gand says it will hold for four days in the fridge, you need to understand the flavor profile over time. That bacon becomes increasingly dominant. The cleanest, brightest flavors are on day when you pull it quite completely chilled to your table.

I’m not sure why, but an equally cold German white, sweet and filled with sunshine, seems the best mate you could imagine.


Loaded Potato Salad

Yield: serves 4 to 6


  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and halved (or quartered, if large)
  • ½ pound bacon, cooked, cooled, and diced
  • ¼ cup sliced scallions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • ½  cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon snipped fresh chives
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper



Place the potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes. (Don’t overcook them or they could fall apart.) Drain the potatoes in a colander and set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the bacon, scallions, garlic, cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, chives, salt, and pepper and fold them with a rubber spatula to combine. When the potatoes have cooled, cut them into 1-inch cubes and add them to the mayonnaise mixture, folding them in gently to coat. Serve immediately, or chill for 2 hours to help the flavors develop before serving. The potato salad keeps in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Source: Lunch by Gale Gand

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EF-S 60MM Macro Lens, F/2.8, 1/100th second, ISO-2000