Lunchbreak: America’s Test Kitchen’s Jack Bishop Makes Kale Salad With Sweet Potatoes And Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Jack Bishop

America's Test Kitchen

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7:00 p.m.

The Book Table

1022 Lake Street

Oak Park

Kale Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Serves 4

Why This Recipe Works: We love the earthy flavor of uncooked kale, but the texture of raw kale can be a little tough. Many recipes call for tossing it with dressing and letting it tenderize in the fridge overnight. This method didn’t deliver the tender leaves we were after, and the long sitting time wasn’t very convenient. Luckily, we found another technique that worked better and faster: massaging. Squeezing and massaging the kale broke down the cell walls in much the same way that heat would, darkening the leaves and turning them silky. Caramelized roasted sweet potatoes, shredded radicchio, crunchy pecans, a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, and a sweet pomegranate vinaigrette turned our salad into a hearty meal. Pomegranate molasses can be found in the international aisle of well-stocked supermarkets; if you can’t find it, substitute 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of mild molasses, and 1 teaspoon of honey. Tuscan kale (also known as dinosaur or Lacinato kale) is more tender than curly-leaf and red kale; if using curly-leaf or red kale, increase the massaging time to 5 minutes. Do not use baby kale.


1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces

1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

12 ounces Tuscan kale, stemmed and sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips (7 cups)

1/2 head radicchio (5 ounces), cored and sliced thin

1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped

shaved Parmesan cheese


2 Tablespoons water

1 1/2 Tablespoons pomegranate molasses

1 small shallot, minced

1 Tablespoon honey

1 Tablespoon cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad:

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay potatoes in single layer on rimmed baking sheet and roast until bottom edges are browned on both sides, 25 to 30 minutes, flipping potatoes halfway through roasting time. Transfer potatoes to plate and let cool for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, vigorously squeeze and massage kale with hands until leaves are uniformly darkened and slightly wilted, about 1 minute. For the vinaigrette: Whisk water, pomegranate molasses, shallot, honey, vinegar, salt, and pepper together in large bowl. Whisking constantly, drizzle in oil. Add roasted potatoes, kale, and radicchio to vinaigrette and toss gently to coat. Transfer to platter and sprinkle with pecans and shaved Parmesan to taste. Serve.

Pinto Bean, Beet, and Bulgur Burgers

Serves 8

Why This Recipe Works: For these modern bean burgers, we combined pinto beans with sweet, earthy shredded beets and hearty, chewy bulgur. While the bulgur cooked, we pulsed the rest of the ingredients in a food processor to get just the right consistency. Along with the beets and beans, we added basil for freshness and walnuts for richness and texture. Garlic and mustard deepened the savory flavors. Using carrot baby food (which was already conveniently pureed) as a binder instead of eggs lent the patties a subtle sweetness — and, as an added bonus, it kept the recipe vegan. Panko bread crumbs further bound the mixture and helped the patties to sear up with a nice, crisp crust. Any brand of plain carrot baby food will work here. Use a coarse grater or the shredding disk of a food processor to shred the beets. If using the food processor, you may need to cut the beet into smaller pieces to fit inside the feed tube.

salt and pepper

2/3 cup medium-grind bulgur, rinsed

1 large beet (9 ounces), peeled and shredded

3/4 cup walnuts

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed

1 (4 ounce) jar carrot baby food

1 Tablespoon whole-grain mustard

1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Bring 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to boil in small saucepan. Off heat, stir in bulgur, cover, and let stand until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain bulgur, spread onto rimmed baking sheet, and let cool slightly. Meanwhile, pulse shredded beet, walnuts, basil, and garlic together in food processor until finely chopped, about 12 pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add beans, carrot baby food, 2 tablespoons water, mustard, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and pulse until well combined, about 8 pulses. Transfer mixture to large bowl and stir in panko and cooled bulgur. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions and pack into 4 inch-wide patties. Heat 2 Tablespoons oil in 12 inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Gently lay 4 patties in skillet and cook until crisp and well browned on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes per side, turning gently halfway through cooking and reducing heat if burgers begin to scorch. Transfer burgers to plate and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Wipe out skillet with paper towels and repeat with remaining 2 Tablespoons oil and remaining patties.  Serve.

Source :

Lunchbreak: America’s Test Kitchen’s Jack Bishop makes kale salad with sweet potatoes and pomegranate vinaigrette
2012 Summer Guide to Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico