The husband and I have a Saturday ritual: After the boys and I return from church, they sit down to burgers and nuggets from McDonald’s, and my man and I go to our favorite neighborhood restaurant. There, we hang out at the bar, eating whatever’s on the seasonal menu.

This time of year, it’s kale.

I know; I know. “Don’t make us read another post about kale,” you groan.

But we should all be eating it, along with chard and other hearty, cool-weather greens.

The reason?

Nutrition, yes. A serving of kale delivers more than 200 percent of the recommended daily allowance for Vitamin A and over 100 percent of the RDA for Vitamin C. Chard, too, comes with a serious nutritional bite. While not as off-the-charts as kale, it delivers high doses of Vitamins A, C and E.

But don’t forget taste. Raw kale and chard have big, assertive flavors reminiscent of savoy cabbage and baby beets. They have enough body to carry other strong flavors (think mustard and anchovy) and can sit for hours in a cloak of dressing without getting soggy. In fact, the longer they sit, the better they taste!

Yesterday, the husband and I took advantage of the first real cool snap and visited our local farmers’ market. There, we picked up pristine bunches of chard and leafy kale, hoping to mimic the salad we’d eaten the night before. Served with a slow-cooked chuck roast, it rivaled anything from the neighborhood bar.

Is a new tradition in order?

Maybe so. Kale & Chard Salad … served at home!

Kale & Chard Salad

  • 1 bunch leafy kale, center stems removed
  • 1 bunch chard, center stems removed
  • 1 small bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts (or any other kind of nut)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil

Slice the kale and chard into thin ribbons. Place in a salad bowl along with the bell pepper and pine nuts.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, Dijon mustard and anchovy paste. Season with salt and pepper, then add the olive oil. Add 3 tablespoons first, then taste. If it’s too assertive for you, add another tablespoon of olive oil.

Pour the dressing over the greens, and toss well. Let the salad sit for 15-20 minutes to soften the greens.