I adore kale.
As in, I love it with a capital “L”.
I used to be more of a spinach girl (I still love you spinach!), but my problem was the wilting. I always take my lunch to work on studio days, and I had to take the dressing on the side for all my spinach salads. It turned into an extra step, an extra thing to carry, I would spill it in my lunch bag…not pretty. Then I discovered kale. It’s so hearty that I could put the dressing on in the morning and it would still be crunchy and fresh at lunch time – it was actually better after sitting in the dressing for a while! Because of this, it’s also SUPER great for entertaining. I can make the salad hours ahead of time and just have it waiting for the time I want to serve it. Kale has a TON of nutrients and has more iron than red meat! It acts as a blank palette and can take on just about any flavor profile you want. For those people who say “I don’t like raw kale” – try this method of making a kale salad! You might be surprised!
I created this Oriental Kale and Mushroom Salad a few weeks ago when we had a few friends over. I made a seared tuna salad with rice, and wanted some easy greens that would go with the tuna. This would also be delicious mixed in with soba noodles and tofu for a meal (this is what I did with the leftovers the next day!
Oriental Kale & Mushroom Salad:
Two large bunches of kale, torn off the stems and washed and dried
6oz button or crimini mushrooms, sliced
2 TBSP raw sesame seeds
4 TBSP rice wine vinegar
2 TBSP tamari or soy sauce
2 TBSP miso paste
1 TBSP sesamel oil
1 TBSP sugar
Place kale leaves in a large salad bowl and drizzle dressing over the leaves (start with half the dressing and add to your taste as you continue). Start massaging the dressing into the leaves. Hands work best here! The more you massage, the more the fibrous kale leaves will break down. Place cut mushrooms on top of salad and let sit 1-2 hours. 30 minutes before serving, mix the salad one more time, adding more dressing as needed. This will allow the mushrooms to start soaking up some dressing without wilting too much themselves. Right before serving, sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Enjoy!