Michael's picnic patties left us with a bit of extra kale. Kale's quite the darling of the veg*n/superfood/superfit set but it's new to our kitchen. I liked the curly fractal leaves; I was surprised at their thickness and their brassica-type smell, which reminded me of broccoli. Several days old, the leaves looked paler and greyer but they were drying rather than softening or really wilting.
I used them in James and Matt's kale and chickpea salad with spicy avocado dressing. This was, of course, a post written by the salad and raw food-loving James rather than Matt, the aficionado of all things fried. I worked the dressing into the kale while sitting at our dining table with full view of the 900+ gram packet of Costco chips a friend had bought us. I could hear James and Matt in either ear:
Mini James in angel costume, sitting on my left shoulder:
"You're doing great! This dinner's going to be so good for you, and really tasty too."
Devilish Matt, right shoulder:
"You're massaging kale? Ugh. There are perfectly delicious salty chips right there. RIGHT THERE."
(I ate both, FYI.) This salad had the freshness and substance that I'd hoped for. An olive oil massage brought colour and gloss back to the kale leaves; they didn't taste of much and were still thick and chewy. Their texture reminded me of curly-leaved parsley and lent the dish a tabbouleh-like quality.
Although the avocado inevitably browned, this salad was in surprisingly good condition the following day. It shows much promise for entering the packed-lunch rotation.
Avocado-dressed kale salad
(a recipe slightly adapted from James and Matt)
4 cups shredded kale leaves (stems removed)
3 tablespoons olive oil
juice of half a lemon
400g can of chickpeas, drained
1 large red capsicum, diced finely
1 tomato, diced finely
1 teaspoon shichimi togarashi
salt and pepper
Place the shredded kale in a large bowl and drizzle over the olive oil and lemon juice; add some salt and pepper. Use your hands to evenly coat the kale in the dressing, massaging it quite firmly into the leaves for several minutes. Stir through the chickpeas, capsicum and tomato.
When you're a couple of minutes away from serving the salad, mash the avocados in a small bowl and stir in the shichimi togarashi. Spoon the avocado over the salad and toss it through.
I'm submitting this recipe to Catherine's new blog event Anyone Can Cook Fabulous Vegetarian Food - this month the theme is substantial salads.