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June 14, 2011
From the minute I picked up Marie Simmons new book, Fresh & Fast Vegetarian, I knew that the first thing I'd make would be this Shredded Tuscan Kale Salad. What I didn't know was that I'd make it, then make it again, and then again and again. Let's just call it my new favorite salad and be done with it, 'kay?
What attracted me at first -- aside from the fact that I love kale and am always on the lookout for new ways to use it -- was the technique for mixing the kale with the dressing: you do it with your hands. As Marie explains in the introduction to her recipe, rubbing the raw kale in your hands with the lime juice softens the kale and gives it just the texture you want -- firm, but not tough -- in a salad.
The salad's got a southwestern twang -- nice after my week in Austin -- and the kinds of flavors and ingredients people all over the place like. The kale's seasoned with lime juice, olive oil and salt, and then topped with avocado, tomato, red onion, jalapeno, grated garlic and more lime juice and oil. It's a vegan dish and it's great on its own, but I've had it with steaks off the grill, fried chicken and sauteed shrimp and thought it was terrific each time.
I just got to Paris this morning and I'm planning to make this tomorrow for friends. I know I'll have a hard time finding jalapenos, but I'll get another spicy pepper and keep going. This strikes me as the kind of salad that welcomes playing around. If you decide to play around, let me know what you do.
In the meantime, here's the recipe, with thanks and hats off to Marie Simmons:
SHREDDED TUSCAN KALE, TOMATO AND AVOCADO SALAD
From Fresh & Fast Vegetarian, by Marie Simmons (Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt 2011)
This recipe is based on a delicious and revolutionary idea: raw kale salad. Because it’s on many restaurant menus, I suspect it is from an innovative raw foods chef. Having tested this salad with every variety of kale I can fi nd, I’ve decided the mild-tasting, tender, pebbly-leafed Tuscan (lacinato) kale, often sold as “dinosaur kale,” is the best. Although the kale is raw, it is softened by rubbing it in your hands with the lime juice, olive oil and salt dressing.
Prep Time: About 10 minutes
1 small bunch (about 10 ounces) Tuscan (lacinato) kale, washed and dried
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and diced (¼ inch)
1 ripe tomato, diced (¼ inch), with seeds and juice (about 1 cup)
½ cup diced (¼ inch) red onion
1 teaspoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper, plus more to taste
1 small garlic clove, grated
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon coarse salt
¼ cup unsalted roasted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds; see page 13)
1. To prepare the kale, cut along both sides of the stem of each leaf with a sharp knife or pull the ruffled leaves away from the stems with your hands. Discard the stems. Gather a bunch of the long kale leaves together on the cutting board and slice into thin (¹⁄8-inch) crosswise slices. You should have 4 to 6 cups lightly packed.
2. Combine the kale, lime juice, oil and salt in a large bowl. Rub the ingredients together with your hands (as though giving the kale a massage) until the leaves wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Set aside.
3. To make the salsa: Combine the avocado, tomato, red onion, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, oil and salt and stir to blend.
4. Add the salsa to the kale and toss to combine. Sprinkle the salad with the pepitas. Serve at room temperature.
Substitute roasted sunflower seeds for the pepitas.
Tags: Fast & Fresh Vegetarian
, Marie Simmons
, Tuscan kale
Salads & Sides
| June 14, 2011 10:07 AM
Terrific! I bought a huge bunch of kale for 89 cents last week, and I've been working my way through it. However, I've only been adding in ginger, and a bit of sesame oil. This looks much tastier. Thank you!
Snippets of Thyme
| June 14, 2011 2:13 PM
Aside from being distracted by the fact that you are in France and I am WAY down here in HOT Houston, Texas, I am intrigued by so many people who adore kale. I tried it a few months ago with a ham hock. It looked so beautiful and the ham hock was fun to request from the butcher. My kids, however, said "blech" and I haven't thought of it since. Then, posts like yours come out and inspire me all over again. I'll let you know...if I can not think about you being in Paris and...me...not.
| June 15, 2011 10:30 AM
When you go looking for kale in Paris you may want to call David Lebovitz - he had a hard time finding any. Can't wait to try your version of the salad - have turning into a kale lover!
| June 18, 2011 4:56 AM
Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I started eating vegan a few months ago and don't miss dairy products at all! I love kale and was looking for a recipe since I'm a little tired of the old standby sauteed in garlic and olive oil with lemon and pepper flakes.
| June 18, 2011 7:32 PM
This looks amazing! Than k you for posting...I can't wait to try this...I love anything with avocado!
| June 19, 2011 2:52 PM
I love Kale, it's great with just about everything, but this... I made this yesterday everyone loved it.
Chez Bonne Femme
| June 20, 2011 12:50 AM
Oh--so a "massage" is the secret to making kale soft enough to use w/o cooking! Neat trick. I'm always looking for ways to use those sturdy greens in salads...after all, who wants to braise them in summer?
Before seeing this, my summer way with dark, sturdy greens was to toss them with olive oil and vinegar, then top with something hot off the grill so the leaves would wilt a bit....But I like this technique for keeping them ultra-fresh, raw, and meatless.
| August 2, 2011 2:52 PM
Just found your website. I have the new book "Around my French Table", love it!! Thank you for being so encouraging to those of us who are home cooks!
| October 1, 2011 4:36 PM
This recipe seems delicious! I haven't been able to eat raw kale so far, and I'm looking forward to it. Nevertheless, I live in Paris, and can't seem to ever find kale here. Did you manage to find some? And if so, where, where?
replied to comment from Flor
| October 2, 2011 1:15 PM
I have not been able to find dark Tuscan kale -- or any kale, really -- in Paris. This surprises me tremendously.
If you do find it, please let me know where. And, if you do, I hope you'll love the salad.
| May 13, 2012 11:53 PM
I made this today for mothers day BBQ. Everyone liked it. My husband even did and if I had just shown him the recipe, he would say "no way!". :) I could only find roasted and salted but that was fine.
replied to comment from Katie Anne
| May 16, 2012 10:17 AM
Katie Anne- I am so glad you and your husband enjoyed this recipe.
| June 26, 2012 7:42 PM
When I saw this i was disappointed as I knew you would not be able to find kale in Paris! I felt the same way and have launched The Kale Project! Follow the journey from farm to market to fork! I've already given seeds to two organic farmers and we're hoping for the first harvest in September! Best,
replied to comment from Kristen @thekaleproject
| July 3, 2012 7:15 PM
Kristen- I just checked out your website. Bringing kale to Paris is a wonderful idea and I wish you all the best with this project. Please keep me posted on your progress and thanks so much for your comment!
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