Kale grows fairly easily in North America. It rather amusing that kale, the superfood extraordinaire, could easily be grown in my backyard (see exhibits A, B and C) and even easier to find in the grocery store within the last few years, including heirloom varieties.
We had friends visiting from Hong Kong earlier this summer and of all things, they were craving kale. I guess it should not be surprising that kale might be difficult (or more expensive) across the globe. I wanted to surprise them with a kale salad. I already made my favourite kale salad this summer so I experimented with this delightful salad instead. And let me tell you, they loved it!
The salad reminds me a bit of this seasonal Peach and Hazelnut Kale Salad with a Maple Miso Vinaigrette. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it definitely has an Asian-fusion feel to it. Miso and garlic were the pronounced flavours balanced by the maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. The red cabbage contrasted beautifully next to the deep green kale. While miso is a novel flavour in North America, it was not new to these ex-pats who once lived in Japan.
Other kale salads you may enjoy:
1 small bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped (8 cups, loosely packed)
4 cups shredded cabbage
3 tbsp white miso
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, pressed or minced (optional, best if eating the salad fresh – it can be pretty garlic heavy as leftovers)
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
1. Prepare your vegetables. Place the kale in a large bowl. Leave the chopped cabbage on your cutting board.
2. Prepare your dressing by combining the miso, mustard, maple syrup, vinegar, and olive oil in a small container. Mix until completely integrated, mashing the miso to help it dissolve. Stir in the garlic.
3. Pour half the dressing with the kale. Massage the dressing into the kale leaves, allowing it to wilt down to at least half its size. Set your timer – this can take 5 minutes. Once it has wilted and turned a deeper shade of green, add in the cabbage and the remainder of the dressing. Stir to combine. Top with the sesame seeds prior to serving.