Sprinting toward solitude with a salad

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Running is not your thing. There's so much jostling involved. It's the sort of hobby best pursued by the lithe and lively. You are neither, nor.

Yet you have been running. There is no good explanation, only a bad one: the dog.

The dog spends his day hurtling from one window to the next, hunting down trespassers — say, the passing squirrel or

a falling leaf — and directing each, loudly, to back off.

Because you and the dog share a work space and because you are often short on aspirin, you yearn to curb his enthusiasm. And so, leash in hand, you lope.

Apparently the experienced runner strives for something more graceful. She maintains a light step and strong stride by imagining herself prancing over hot coals, by gazing into the distance, and by — get this — smiling.

An hour's slog leaves the dog nap-happy. And you wilted.

You've heard running throws off healthful side effects and already you've noticed one: With the dog off duty, it's possible to toss together a delicious wilted kale salad, gaze into the distance, and down the whole thing, undisturbed. While — get this — smiling.

Wilted kale salad

Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 0
Servings: 4

1 bunch kale
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 1/4 teaspoons flaky salt
1 1/4 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar
6 green onions, sliced into fine matchsticks
2 carrots, shredded
3 tablespoons roasted salted peanuts, chopped

Fold 1 kale leaf along its center rib; cut away and discard rib. Slice leaf into ribbons. Repeat with remaining kale. Pile kale ribbons into a salad spinner. Soak in cold water. Drain. Spin dry. You should have about 6 cups greens.

Toss kale in a large salad bowl. Drizzle with sesame oil. Sprinkle with salt and sugar. Plunge in a clean pair of hands and rub oil, salt and sugar into the kale until it darkens and wilts a bit, about 2 minutes.

Sprinkle on vinegar. Toss. Add onions, carrots and peanuts. Toss. Enjoy.

Leah Eskin is a Tribune Newspapers special contributor. Email her at leahreskin@aol.com.

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