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Kale Salad Recipe
Our local community college has some of the best food in the area. Well-known for their culinary arts program, they hire wonderful and talented chefs to prepare the cafeteria food for students and staff. I am addicted to their kale salad. One day, I asked Dawn, a fantastic chef, about the kale salad. She told me how she makes it, and what ingredients to use. The kale and other veggies are tossed with tasty, slightly sweet vinaigrette. The result is an attractive, dark green salad with bursts of color from the carrots, cabbage and craisins. It shines from the oil and honey in the dressing.
My first batch was made with baby kale. That wasn't a good choice since the stems were slightly tough and detracted from the mouth feel of the salad. I also had trouble getting the acidity right. One problem was the vinegar. We bought apple cider vinegar only to find out that it was "apple cider flavored vinegar." It looked the same, but it had a real acid kick to it! Next was adjusting the honey and tabasco. I have finally gotten the recipe to the point where it tastes enough like Dawn's to share it with you. Enjoy!
Kale Salad Recipe
16 ounces of chopped kale (I used a packaged, triple washed chopped kale.)
2 cups shredded red cabbage (Shred by thinly slicing with a knife, so that you don't get red coleslaw!)
1 cup shredded carrots (I like to use a blend of yellow and orange carrots.)
¼ cup lime juice--freshly squeezed
¼ cup seasoned rice wine vinegar (Add it to the lime juice to make ½ cup of acidic liquid. I used Nakona brand. You may use any vinegar that pleases you. If you use apple cider vinegar, make sure that it is real apple cider vinegar, not just flavored white vinegar.)
1/3-1/2 cup honey (I used the smaller amount, but you might prefer a sweeter salad.)
¼ cup sunflower oil
¼ cup olive oil
2/3 cup craisins or dried cherries
tabasco to taste (optional) (I used about 4 quick shakes into the dressing and stirred it in.)
In a small bowl, place the craisins or cherries. Cover them with warm water to help them plump up. Drain these before you put them in the salad. I like to use the drained water to make flavored green tea!
You will need a container that is at least as large as a Dutch oven, since this recipe makes a lot of kale salad. I used my stock pot, so that I would have a lot of room to mix the veggies. If you don't have a large container, make it in two batches. Be sure that your kale is super-clean with all sandy materials removed. If you are not using a pre-chopped kale, roughly chop the kale into about 2-inch pieces. Use the large grater blade of a food processor to grate the carrots. The carrots should be smaller than julienned strips, but larger than the size that a box grater would make. Use a knife to thinly slice the cabbage into shreds.
Put the kale into the large container, spread the carrots on top, and then add the cabbage. If any red cabbage gets on your counters or floor, get it up immediately, since it can leave a stain. Rubbing the stain with baking soda might help remove it. Ask me how I know! Just be careful not to mar the finish.
Ideally, you will have a one-cup glass measure and a two-cup glass measure. If not, just adapt the instructions to suit your utensils. Into the one-cup glass measure, squeeze the lime until you have ¼ cup. I used 1 ½ medium limes to do this. If you come up short, don't worry, just use a little more vinegar. Add the honey to the acidic liquids and stir well, until it is completely mixed. I added honey to the 200 ml mark on my measuring cup. Set it aside.
In the two-cup measure, measure your olive and sunflower oils. Then, slowly pour the acidic liquids into the oil, stirring constantly. Add the tabasco, if desired after you stir the acids and oils together. Immediately, pour the dressing evenly, in a thin stream, across your kale, carrots, red cabbage, and craisins. Toss the salad to thoroughly mix. I wash my hands and use them to toss the salad with the dressing. It's easy to keep my prepared kale salad in gallon freezer bags in the refrigerator. That takes up less room than using a large bowl. Let the salad stand for at least an hour before serving.
This kale salad is delicious and filled with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and good oils. The dressing uses high-quality oils. Sunflower oil is expensive, and you could use canola oil, if you do not have the sunflower oil. The recipe would taste a bit different. There is a significant amount of oil and honey in this recipe, so you will want to plan that into your daily nutrition.
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