Yes, I know.
Kale is so last year.
Clearly, I’m a bit late to the party but honestly, this is the first kale salad I’ve ever made!
And lately, I’ve been into curly kale.
Curly kale has lived in the shadow of its sleek-looking sister (cavolo nero) for years. And I get it- I’ve never been a fan of curly kale myself. It reminds me of those typical garnishes at chain restaurants or giant cabbages people plant in their front yard as part of their autumnal landscaping. And because of that, I’ve never been inclined to eat it.
But there it was at the market: a beautiful bunch of curly leaves freshly sprayed with water.
(I’m such a sucker).
This recipe is a riff on my Curried Quinoa & Asparagus Salad.
Marinate the kale in lemony, ginger-curry vinaigrette; the acidity tenderizes the leaves. Don’t be afraid to give it the full spa treatment too. Get in there with your hands and gently massage the leaves. Sounds so silly, but it really softens up the kale. I could use something like this, actually.
The rest of assembly is easy: quickly shred tart green apple, carrots, and purple cabbage in the food processor. It takes 2 minutes. Then, toss with crunchy things like pepitas and pomegranate seeds. Believe it or not, my pomegranate seeds were unearthed from the freezer. So vibrant and pretty… When unavailable, simply leave them out.
Add leftover cooked quinoa for a hit of protein and chewy raisins.
This salad is perfect for lunch or to enjoy after a good work out (chasing small children, or otherwise). It can be made in advance too.
What kind of kale do you like?
- This salad can be prepared and chilled, up to 3 hours. The ginger-curry vinaigrette can be made up to 3 days in advance and stored in an air-tight container in the fridge. Add avocado right before serving to preserve freshness.
- PS- there’s 1 Hass avocado in this recipe (not pictured) for essential creaminess.
- Try this vinaigrette drizzled over grilled fish, such as tuna, halibut or salmon- it’s delicious.
- If you don’t like kale, or curly kale for that matter, substitute with baby spinach or mixed greens instead. Skip the marinating part in the instructions below.
- 4 handfuls of curly kale
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 green apple, unpeeled
- 1 small wedge of purple cabbage
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 heaped tsp. madras curry powder
- 2 tsp. honey
- ½ inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- ½ clove of garlic
- ½ c. olive oil
- coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup leftover cooked quinoa
- 1 hass avocado, diced
- ¼ cup pepitas
- ¼ cup raisins or dried cranberries
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
- To make the vinaigrette, add all of the ingredients to a food processor. Blitz to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Pour your dressing into a bowl or container for easy storage. Unplug the machine and fit with the shredder attachment (no need to clean it out).
- Add the kale leaves to a salad bowl. Pour some of the dressing on top. Get in there with your hands and gently massage the leaves; the acidity from the dressing will tenderize the kale. Let it sit for about 15 minutes to marinate.
- Meanwhile, shred the carrots, apple, and cabbage in the food processor. Add to the kale.
- Add the leftover cooked quinoa and avocado. Mix gently to combine.
- When ready to serve, sprinkle with pepitas, raisins and pomegranate seeds. Toss with extra dressing, if desired.