This is directed at those of you out there who would say that kale is your "least enjoyed" green vegetable. I would love to change your mind about that with this Kale Salad with Creamy Avocado and Ginger-Almond Dressing.
I must admit that when I first started to receive kale as a member of a CSA years ago, I was not a fan. In fact, and I hate to admit this, I can recall throwing out entire bunches of kale. If this is you, then read on.
Kale is one of the most nutritious vegetables out there. It scores a perfect 1000 on the ANDI scale (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index). It is an excellent source of vitamin K (a somewhat elusive vitamin). The recommended intake of vitamin K is about 100 mcg a day. A half cup of kale has more than 500 mcg! And my recipe below has far more than a half cup of kale. Kale boosts the immune system. It is also a good source of beta-carotene and other carotenoids, vitamins A and C, lutein, and calcium. It is part of the cabbage family and as such is a cruciferous vegetable which means it has cancer-fighting properties. Sadly, the average American consumes only 1 cup of kale a year! They must feel like I once did, that kale is well...yucky! Now I know some of you cannot conceive of eating a salad of the size I have photographed and provided a recipe for here, but trust me, if you are serious about eating for health, and you make this your entree, you can eat it! The inspiration for this salad came from a wonderful kale salad I had at Blossom Café in New York City. I have created my own version of that salad here. The thick creamy dressing coats and softens the leaves and adds a real boost of flavor to what I guess some of you consider to be a boring or bland green!
Kale Salad with Creamy Avocado and Ginger-Almond Dressing
Serves 2 as an entree or 4 as a side
For the salad: 1/2 bunch kale, tough stem and rib removed, leaves chopped into bite sized pieces 1/2 tomato, sliced and julienned 1/2 green pepper, diced 1 carrot, julienned or shredded 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
For the dressing: 1/2 cup raw almonds 1 ripe avocados, skin and pit removed juice of a lemon or lime 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste) 1 medium garlic clove, smashed or roughly chopped 1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped 1/4 tsp chili powder 1/2 to 1 cup water* First make the dressing: Place almonds in a blender or food processor and blend until almonds resemble a fine powder. Add all other dressing ingredients except water and process until creamy. With motor of food processor or blender running add only as much water as necessary for dressing to have the consistency of mayonnaise. Combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add 3/4 cup of the dressing and toss to combine thoroughly coating every piece of kale. Allow salad to sit for at least 30 minutes. The longer it sits the more tender the kale becomes. Serves 2 as an entree or 4 as a side. *For a more tangy dressing use half rice vinegar and half water.