A year or so ago, I started taking a home-made lunch into work every day. It started as a money-saving exercise (and boy, does it save money if you work, as I do, in central London), but now I do it because it means I can choose exactly what I want to eat.

Although, I have to admit, by the end of each week, I do often have some slightly bizarre/boring lunches, as I try and finish off the dregs of my fridge’s salad crisper. However, today, despite only using some leftovers, the result was one of the tastiest lunches I’ve had in ages.

With a good chunk of chorizo still left, I added a few fried slices to some finely shredded kale, and chucked in half a tin of chickpeas. My last couple of sticks of celery and the remains of a cucumber also found their way into the salad, while I made a dressing with the olive oil I’d fried the chorizo in (beautifully flavoured by the smoky meat) and some red wine vinegar.

All in all, the perfect combination for a winter salad.

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A food first…

January 19, 2010

Standing at the Secretts Farm vegetable stall in Borough Market on Saturday, looking at all the wonderful seasonal goodies on offer, I realised there was something I’d never eaten before – kale. I’m a big fan of crunchy green veg – cabbage, broccoli, yes, even sprouts – so I don’t know why I’ve never bothered with kale before.

I remembered seeing a number of recipes using it recently, so thought it was about time I tried it. A dish that came to mind as I was making my purchase was a Nigel Slater one from The Observer a couple of weeks ago for kale and chorizo. And, as there is a stall selling chorizo right next to the Secretts Farm one, I decided I had no choice but to buy some. A ring of the most deliciously spicy, aromatic chorizo cost me £6, but it keeps for about three months, so I thought if I use it sparingly I’ll really get my money’s worth from it.

In the end, my first foray into the world of kale didn’t involve Nigel Slater. Instead, I used a recipe for chorizo, kale and potato broth from the BBC Good Food website that had caught my eye. I love it when you find a recipe for a dish and have all the ingredients already to hand. The only thing I changed with this one was to add half a tin of tomatoes that was already open in my fridge, and really needed to be used up.