I was okay with that for a while. There was always a recipe I wanted to try out or show off. But, as the years have progressed I have become a bit more territorial over my menus. I want everything to flow, from appetizer to dessert, carrying an ethnic theme or flavor palate across the meal. If a guest of mine asks what to bring, I say "yourself and some table talk."
Oh yes, there are still times when the pot luck is best : the neighborhood party, the book group gathering, or the 20 something gathering. If you are invited to any of these, here is a flavorful addition to the table (or your dinner table at home):
Kale Salad with PineNuts, Craisins and Cheese (6-8 side servings)
2 T craisins
7 T White Balsamic Vinegar, divided
1T unseasoned rice vinegar
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1t sea salt
1 lb Kale, center ribs and stems removed, leave slices crosswise (Tuscan Kale is best)
2 T pine nuts, lightly toasted
Parmesan Cheese Shavings or 1/2 cup crumbled Ricotta Salata
Soak craisins in 5 T white balsamic vinegar for 6-8 hours. Drain
Whisk 2 T white balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, honey, oil and salt in small bowl.
Place Kale, Craisins, and Pine Nuts in large bowl.
Add 1/2 dressing, massage salad (with your hands or a tongs) every 5 minutes for 20 minutes.*
Add more dressing and salt and pepper to taste.
Add cheese just before serving.
*Massage is essential to a tender salad