Lunch Box: Make-Ahead Marinated Mushrooms with Kale, Shaved Carrots and Parmesan
I was hesitant to call this "Kale Salad with Marinated Mushrooms", lest this get lumped into the "Just Another Kale Salad" category. The unmistakable star here is the mushrooms. After a night bathing in mustard, olive oil, garlic and lemon, the mushrooms tenderize in a way they won't from cooking, and soak up flavor like a sponge. The kale pretty much takes a backseat.
I'm a person that will most likely never pack a separate salad dressing container in my lunch (I don't even know if they sell those?), so I used the leftover mushroom marinade as a dressing for kale, carrots and grilled broccoli rabe. I threw in a good amount of shaved parmesan for some nuttiness, and also because a salad without cheese is sometimes just depressing.
Both kale and carrots are hardy enough that they won't sog out from the dressing, which I put on just before leaving the house in the morning. Shaved carrots are my absolute favorite way to eat carrots in a salad. Shredding is a pain, and sliced carrots are hard to stab with a fork. Shaved carrots make your salad look professional, won't get stuck in your teeth, and provide just the right amount of gentle crunch. Try it, and you'll never go back.
About the Author: Suzanne Lehrer is a writer and recipe developer in New York and a recipe editor for Cooking Channel. When not curating her budding hot sauce collection, she puts her French Culinary Institute education to good use in kitchens all around town. Find her on twitter @the_suzchef