Who has the best kale salad in Austin? This is a debate that I never would have expected myself to weigh in on. Kale is one of those vegetables that people love to love – maybe too much. While I can get down with kale now and again, I'm always a little suspicious of those who purport to LOVE kale. Kale is your favorite? Really? I mean, it's OK and everything, but compared to pizza, kale is practically inedible.
Besides, it's kind of bitter, and hopelessly chewy. If anything, kale is an underdog in the world of greenery. Roast it or toast it, and I'll chomp it down. Smash it and thrash it, and I'll drink it up – but kale salad? Yeah, never been a big fan. That is, until I tasted The Soup Peddler's Kneel Before Kale Salad. So sweet! So tender! So enjoyable! Maybe I do love kale salad after all?
I must, because here I am sharing this recipe with you – a recipe for a salad that I just can't stop eating.
Sweet & Savory Kale Salad
Makes about four 1-cup servings
- 3 cups raw kale
- 1/3 cup pepitas (or sunflower seeds)
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup red onion, minced
- 3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons marmalade or fruit butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- Start by showing your kale who's boss. Rip out the spine (thick stem) from each leaf, then chop it roughly into bite-sized pieces. Next, squeeze the bejeezus out of the chopped leaves. I like to mash it up in my hand and then rub it between my palms. Some people refer to this process as "massaging", but if I paid someone in a spa to do this to me I would be pretty pissed off.
- Next, warm a small skillet over medium heat. Add the pepitas, and toss until lightly toasted. Once you can smell them, they are done. Remove them from the skillet right away, and set them aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the oil and lemon juice. Add the marmalade or fruit butter. (I used peach butter, but something like orange marmalade or apricot jam would work just as well.) Season the dressing with a pinch of salt and some black pepper, then whisk again.
- Combine the kale, pepitas, cranberries, and onions in a large mixing bowl, then add about half of your dressing. Toss the salad to coat it evenly, then give it a taste. You can add the rest of the dressing if you'd like, or leave it on the dry side.