Perhaps I should have chosen a more accessible, more seasonal challenge ingredient. Then, perhaps, I would not have been scrounging around for cherries of any kind: fresh, frozen, dried, canned. But alas! Apparently all I could think of was that cherries would make the winter better. And, actually, I hold to that thinking. Cherries would make the winter better. It’s a shame that you can’t find them when you want them most.

My apologies to those of you who were, like me, running around the grocery aisles looking for an acceptable form of cherries. (I hope you did not, however, cover as many miles as I did on foot this month, as 164 running miles is entirely too many — unless you are training for a big race.)

And if you did cover that much ground, let me make it up to you with this delicious kale salad recipe: kale with dried cherries, toasted pecans, sliced radishes, crumbled goat cheese, and a delicious homemade honey-mustard vinegarette. It has become a favorite of ours since I first made it six or so months ago — and a favorite of everyone I’ve served it to (which is not a small number).

(Also, send me your week 4 RSBC-ing and I’ll post the round-up early next week. lizzie (at) motherrunner (dot) com.)

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Kale Salad with Cherries and Honey-Mustard Vinegarette from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook

I’m not going to tell you exactly how much of what to add to your salad. Salads like this, I believe, are really a matter of personal preference. But I am going tell you that you can use whatever nuts/fruits/etc. you love. I’ve made it with dried cherries/pecans/goat cheese/radishes as it does in the original recipe and it was so good. I’ve also made it with pistachios and nectarines, with candied pecans and soy-spiced pecans, feta cheese and muenster cheese and been equally happy with the result.

For the salad:
A bunch of kale, washed, dried, and sliced into ribbons or bite-sized pieces.
A handful (give or take) of toasted pecans
A handful (give or take) of dried cherries
A few radishes, sliced thin
Some goat cheese, chilled and crumbled

For the dressing:
3 T. olive oil
1 1/2 T. white wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. honey
1 T. dijon mustard
salt a pepper to taste

Toss salad ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over salad. Toss to combine, then let sit for 20 or so minutes to allow the dressing to tenderize the kale.

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