Thursday, August 16, 2012

Kale Salad With Curry-Peanut Dressing

The temperatures in Western Washington have been unseasonably hot for the last week or so - and while I know the rest of the country is USED to summers over 85 degrees, we are not. Our houses (and even some businesses) are not air conditioned, our kitchens are sweltering, we can't sleep... *whine*. Cool weather and cloudy summers are why I choose to live in the Pacific Northwest. The heat makes me grouchy.

So, I've been getting up early and making cool salads that my family can munch on for the rest of the day. Keeps me out of a hot kitchen at dinner time, and keeps them fed. If you haven't tried raw kale in a salad before, you really ought to. This is a perfect picnic or potluck addition, too, because it can stay out of the fridge for a while, no mayo or dairy to spoil, and it's not going to wilt.

Kale Salad with Curry-Peanut Dressing

1/3 cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 inch piece ginger, shredded
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. brown sugar, agave nectar or honey
1 tsp. curry powder or more to taste
1/4 tsp. cayenne or to taste Sea Salt, to taste

1 large bunch kale or as much as you want for the amount of dressing (I prefer the Tuscan kale also know as black, dinosaur, or lacinato)
1 carrot finely shredded
1 - 2 cups finely shredded purple cabbage (optional)
1 bunch green onions, sliced
sesame seeds or crushed peanuts for garnish

 To make the dressing: Whiz first nine ingredients in food processor and taste. The dressing will be thick. Add a Tablespoon or two of water if needed to make it blend smooth. Adjust taste to your preference. (I usually add a little more peanut butter and curry but go with what you like).

To make the salad: Wash and remove the thick “stem” from the center of the kale leaves and discard. Cut the kale into thin ribbons. Place the kale in a large salad bowl and pour some of the dressing on it.
 Mix well (this part is messy) using your HANDS to "massage" or (as my kids say) "smush" the dressing into the kale leaves. This step breaks down the leaves and makes them nice and tender.
I don't always use the entire amount of dressing on my salad, but add as much as you prefer.
Wash your hands, they'll be a mess, and proceed.
Add shredded carrots, cabbage and green onions.
Stir well.
Let the salad sit for about 10 - 15 minutes if you can stand it.


Anonymous said...

oooh that curry peanut sauce sounds wonderful!! wow