Peanut Kale Salad
A restaurant near my office serves a delicious (but pricey) kale salad with flavors of peanut and mint. Eating out every day would break the budget, so I set out to create something similar that I could make myself. The salad ingredients were pretty straightforward, but deriving the dressing recipe involved a few weeks of taste testing – performed by office-mates who are also aficionados of the salad. This is the final recipe. Enjoy!
This recipe makes approximately 6 full sized salads — you can vary the amounts if you want less. Once the salad and the dressing are made, I pack it up to make it easy to take to work, but it could also be served to a group.
2 bunches leafy green kale, stems removed, chopped fine, massaged with olive oil
I/2 small green cabbage, sliced thinly
1/4 small red cabbage, sliced thinly
I bunch green onions, chopped
1 .75 oz box of fresh mint, divided between salad and dressing (see below)
1 ripe avocado, sliced, spritzed with lime (optional, but yummy)
200 ml mint leaves. tightly packed
enough apple cider vinegar to cover the leaves
50 ml agave
50 ml fresh lime juice
3-4 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter
1 seeded jalapeno chile pepper (optional)
I use the container from my immersion blender to measure the ingredients for the dressing-once you have measured the 200 ml of tightly packed mint leaves, set the rest aside for the salad.
Start by removing the leafy part of the kale from the stems. Compost the stems (or use them for stock), and chop the leaves very fine. Place in a bowl and add about a tablespoon of olive oil. Using your hands, rub the oil into the leaves. The kale will change color and turn a deeper green. Then chop and add the remaining ingredients. If you want to add the optional avocado, slice it, place it in the salad container or on the salad in a bowl, and spritz with lime so it will stay pretty and green.
To make the dressing, start with the tightly packed mint leaves, add the apple cider vinegar to cover, then the agave, lime juice, peanut butter and jalapeno.
You can vary the amount of peanut butter to make a more or less creamy and thick dressing.
Mix with the immersion blender (or in a regular blender).
I make this salad for lunch, so I divide the salad into plastic containers, and the dressing into six containers for each of the six salads.
The chopped peanuts should be added after the salad is dressed.
The salad can also be served with protein — I often add tuna salad — just a can of sustainable tuna (visit seafoodwatch.org for information on what tuna is sustainably harvested), organic mayonnaise and some sweet pickle relish. Delicious and nutritious.