Kale salad with crispy chorizo

Home for lunch? Looking for a quick and delicious dinner? Take inspiration from this simple salad, with smoked cheese, crispy croutons, and chopped chorizo tossed with kale and vegetables. 

In Praise of Leftovers
Sometimes food is the last thing on your mind. Other times, salads like this come along and change all that.

Editor's note: In Praise of Leftovers was nominated for Saveur's 2013 The Best Food Blog Awards. Check out the list of winners on

Sometimes, Yancey and I are at home together during lunchtime. On a weekday.

He'll be absorbed in a project, and food will be the last thing on his mind. I have no idea what that is like. I wish I could leave more brain space free for other ponderings. Like making the world a better place, marketing my consulting practice with more aplomb, or getting my yard to look less like an abandoned junkyard. (I've heard somewhere that you can't be a reader AND a gardener. I take solace in that.)

But no. I wake up thinking about the three meals in front of me and how to make something with whatever is in my fridge. And Yancey benefits. I'll say, "I'm making a salad. Do you want some?" He'll answer, "Umm... I guess so." He doesn't feel hungry, necessarily, and if I weren't around, he probably wouldn't eat lunch. He'd have an apple at 3 p.m. and call it good. 

But if I'm home working during the day, I love the opportunity to get some vegetables in. At the hospital (where I'm doing a lot of consulting these days), I grab a sandwich or a cup of grapes from the cafeteria. It's a treat to make a mess and eat something interesting.

This time, it went like this:

Fill a medium salad bowl with washed and chopped lacinato kale (or other greens). Mix in julienned carrot, thinly sliced red onion, roughly chopped green olives, and chunks of smoked mozarella or feta. Then heat up a heavy skillet and pour a big glug of olive oil in. Add some big chunks of fresh crusty bread and a handful of chopped chorizo and fry them together with salt. Everything will turn crispy and a little bit orange.

Dump that hot mixture in with your greens, and toss the whole thing with white wine vinegarolive oil, and salt. And if you're lucky enough to have a cutie husband around, give him some, too, even though he says he's not hungry. Don't believe him.

P.S. A giant THANK YOU to everyone to voted in Saveur's contest and who called, texted, or commented to say congratulations. What I got out of the whole thing is that 1) I am loved and appreciated and 2) this blog is going to be around for a long time. 

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