Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad. Sometimes a good idea appears out of thin air. Other times it comes from an inspired experience. Recently I ate my very first RAW kale salad. Why had I never eaten kale in it’s natural state before? I have no idea. I guess tradition is the culprit.
Nutrient rich kale is a veggie I’ve cooked many times. I’ve steamed, stewed, even baked kale, but never eaten it raw.
Until last week that is, when I had lunch with a friend and we both ordered our meal with a side of kale salad. I had no preconceived notion of what to expect. When my plate arrived, it was piled with ribbons of shredded greens.
Now, I try to be a good southern girl… often with little success. Growing up in a straight-forward Midwestern family, “genteel” and “prim” took second fiddle to “hard work” and “direct honesty.” I’m ok with that. Yet now that I live in the South, I strive to achieve Southern greatness in the kitchen, even if I’ll never achieve it in manner.
So when it came time to experiment with raw greens, I went with subtle Southern flair. What’s more Southern than ham, cornbread and greens?
This is how I did it: I shaved (sliced) the kale into ultra thin ribbons.
I rubbed ham steaks with brown sugar, cumin and coriander to give them a smoky kick. Then grilled them for a couple minutes per side.
Next I toasted crumbled cornbread and roughly chopped almonds to provide contrast for the kale.
Finally I dressed the salad with a bright citrus vinaigrette made with orange zest, orange juice, honey, chive and almond oil.
The verdict? Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad is YUM. Double yum. Yum with a southern twist, Ya’ll. Salty, sweet, crunchy, zesty plate of Kale-icious yum! *smile*
Raw kale is a winner. You’ve got to try this at home.
- Don’t salt the ham. It tends to be salty enough on it’s own.
- Ham steaks are also precooked, so the grilling is simply for texture and appearance–don’t over do it!
- I used whole raw almonds in the kale salad and roughly chopped them, but you could substitute slivered almonds.
- I ADORE almond oil, but any mild flavored oil will work for the vinaigrette.
- I used store-bought corn muffins for the salad.
Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad
Yield: 4-6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
For the Ham:
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 ½ tablespoons coriander
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 4-6 thick cut ham steaks
For the Southern Kale Salad:
- 1 large bunch of kale
- 2 corn muffins or cornbread squares, crumbled into large chunks
- ¾ cup roughly chopped almonds
- 2 tablespoons butter
For the Dressing:
- 1 orange, zested and juiced
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- ¼ cup almond oil (or veg. oil)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped chive
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Preheat the grill to medium and preheat a large skillet to medium-high.
- Mix the brown sugar, cumin, coriander and pepper. In a small bowl, rub the mixture on both sides of each ham steak. Set aside.
- Shred the kale into (very) thin strips. Place the kale in a large serving bowl.
- Place the ham steaks on the grill for about 3 minutes per side—or just until grill marks form. Remove and tent with foil to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, add the butter to the skillet. Pour in the crumbled cornbread and chopped almonds. Gently move around the pan until toasted—5 minutes.
- Whisk the rest of the ingredients together for the vinaigrette. Toss the kale with your desired amount of vinaigrette. Then top with the toasted cornbread and almonds. Best if served immediately.
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