First of all, yes, I am salad hypocrite.
Or a salad flip flopper.
Or any other term to describe how I went from “Why I Don’t Make Salads” to “Hey guys, I’m totally loving this salad”.
I still stand by what I wrote because in general salads do not work for my life. However in writing that post, I started thinking about all the different types of salad and how to solve the problem of having salads in my life without all the issues that I mentioned. I forget exactly how it came to me, but I realized that kale salads are actually a great answer to my salad woes.
Unlike regular lettuce, kale has some unique attributes:
- It does not become sad and wilty overnight – I am happy eating a day old kale salad.
- It does not require other vegetables as salad company – the ribs provide a crunchy counterpart to the leafy leaves
- It is hearty and can suffice as a light meal with some accompaniment
I stumbled across a perfect kale salad recipe from Minamalist Baker and had to add it to the weekend plans. I appreciate that this dressing can be made without a food processor because I don’t want to go through all that cleaning for salad dressing. Dessert – yes, salads – not worth it. I decided not to go with roasted chickpeas specified in the recipe, as we have a tenuous relationship history. I am not the best with chickpea roasting times so they either end up mushy in the middle or super crisp. And by crispy, I mean disintegrates in your mouth like sand. Either way, I have ended up with way too many hard to swallow chickpeas and I was not interested in revisiting that emotional scar. Instead, I chopped and roasted some potatoes and onions for our side dish.
I find that I prefer a creamy dressing on kale. I think it keeps better than more acidic dressings, and also it reminds me of the best kale salad of my life at Carpe Diem in Charlotte. Their kale caesar is out of this world, just thinking about the awesomeness makes me salivate a little. I loved the super thin slices of kale and the creamy, tangy dressing that perfectly coated each leaf without unduly weighing it down. Their’s is my kale salad inspiration. Thinly slicing the kale makes a huge difference in the texture, it can be hard to choke down a mouthful of big kale leaves. Another thing that makes raw kale more enjoyable is giving the dressing and leaves a good 30 second massage. The massage not only provides an even coat of dressing but also helps break down the extremely fibrous leaves.