Every spring as the kale starts to grow quickly in the garden, the most common question is what can people do with it? Kale is so easy to grow and many people grow more than they can consume. Not everyone loves kale salad. I hope I can change your mind. I have a recipe that I take to pot lucks and the bowl always comes home empty. It’s not my recipe but given to me by a close friend.
Esalen Kale Salad
Whisk together 1/3 cup of tamari soya sauce, 1/3 cup of lemon juice and 1/3 cup of olive oil. Add 1/2 of a red onion,chopped. Let the onion soak in the dressing.
Cut one bunch of freshly washed kale without stems into 1/4” ribbons. I like to cut out the midribs as well. Place in large bowl.
Dice 1 avocado and add to kale in bowl. (Often avocados are not ripe enough when I want to make this salad. I tried adding diced apple chunks and it worked.)
Add 1/2 cup of alfalfa sprouts. ( I have used bean sprouts as well)
Toast nuts in cast iron skillet or in oven at 350F until golden. 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup sesame seeds, 1/4 cup pine nuts ( optional)
Add toasted nuts to salad and add dressing. I find half the dressing is more than enough. I add the dressing about an hour before serving. Toss and serve.
Use fresh kale in regular salads by mixing it with other salad greens. Don’t forget to add the flower buds to salads as well. They are delicious! Use the fresh flower buds like you would broccoli in stir fries.
Make kale chips for the family by lightly tossing fresh kale leaves with cooking oil and popping them on a tray. Bake in the oven until crisp at 350F for about ten minutes. Keep a watch on your kale chips as they can burn easily.
I finally tried a friend’s family recipe. Its not written down anywhere but I kept getting told to add kale to my mashed potatoes. I looked up several recipes online and loved how my version turned out. I had just harvested some Walla Walla onions from the garden so I diced one of the onions and was going to fry it up with some garlic and kale. Unfortunately the garlic isn’t ready in the garden but I remembered I had some garlic scape butter in the freezer. I melted a couple tablespoons of garlic scape butter in the frying pan and added the diced onions. I let the onions cook until they had softened. Next I added the kale which had been chopped up. How much kale did I use? It was about equal to three large leaves of kale so perhaps almost one cup. I know, don’t you hate those people that don’t measure. I was experimenting and winging it with this dish. I boiled up four potatoes and mashed them and then added the onion and kale mixture to the mashed potatoes along with a bit more butter. It added an amazing texture and flavour to what could have been ordinary mashed potatoes. Seriously, this is a good thing as Farmer Jim said the other day that he didn’t really like mashed potatoes. It took him thirty years to tell me. What!! Of course, I have a whole raised bed dedicated to the wonderful potato. Luckily Farmer Jim approved of the new dish.