Sunday, April 19, 2015

Refreshing Kale Peanut Salad

This weekend it was FINALLY (finally finally finally) actually, legitimately warm.

I'm talking this kind of warm:

and this kind:

and best and most fabulous of all, this kind:

In celebration, I decided it was time to start busting out the summertime salads. I found this one over at Once Upon a Chef which also was the source of the very delicious Thai Quinoa salad, which actually had a similar flavor profile. My version is below:

The Stuff:
Kale, a few large handfuls
1 cooked chicken breast (or equivalent; optional)
half a cup sliced almonds, toasted
half a red bell pepper, chopped
3/4c carrot pieces (mine were chopped baby carrots)
handful of cilantro, roughly chopped

1.5 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 garlic clove
chunk of ginger (or about 2 teaspoons minced ginger)
.5 tablespoons soy sauce
1.5 tablespoon sesame oil
juice of half a lime
red pepper flakes or chili sauce
pinch salt

What to do with it: 
The dressing is easy, basically take all of the ingredients and blend them up in whatever way you like best (mini food processor, blender cup) or just chop as finely as you can with your own two little hands, and mix very well.

For the salad itself, first prepare the kale. Remove the hard spines, and then the key is to hold a bunch of leaves together in your hand and cut them in small strips (chiffonade). If your strips are a little on the large size, as mine are you should massage it, which just means to squish it in your hands a bit so it is softer. Then, add the other ingredients, toss with dressing, and there you go!

It was very refreshing, plus, I'm a sucker for a good peanut sauce. The nice part about this one is that it's peanuty but really not to heavy. The other nice thing about kale salads is that they really hold up in the fridge, and even though this is half the original recipe, there are lots of leftovers. This is definitely going into the summer rotation!

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