The secret to this salad is getting the velvety long quill-like kale leaves that go by “lacinato”, “black”, “Tuscan”, “dinosaur” or “cavolo nero”. I prefer the appearance, flavor and mouthfeel of this variety over the ubiquitous curly kale (which will work fine if nothing else is available). If you’re not into raw kale, lightly steam or quickly sauté the leaves then allow to cool slightly before mixing with the other ingredients for a warm salad. Anyone with thyroid issues should always cook their kale before consuming as metabolizing raw plants from the brassica family (broccoli, cabbage…) can aggravate the thyroid.
I make a raw kale salad with this dressing whenever kale is in season, varying the added ingredients based on the time of year. Christmas time calls for the jewel-like winter produce of pomegranate seeds and clementine. Shaving the parsnip with a peeler allows one of my favorite roasted vegetables to shine in its raw form.
- 1 Tbsp unrefined Toasted Sesame Oil
- 1 Tbsp pure Maple Syrup
- 1 Tbsp Lemon or Lime Juice
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- Good pinch Sea Salt
- 1 bunch Tuscan Kale, stems removed and torn into pieces
- 1 medium Parsnip, peeled then shaved into ribbons with a peeler
- 1 handful Pecans, toasted
- 1 handful Pomegranate seeds
- 1-2 Clementines, peeled and halved
- To make the dressing, whisk the oil, maple syrup, citrus juice, garlic and salt together.
- Gently massage the kale with the dressing until the leaves start to wilt and become tender. Taste and adjust seasoning. Toss the remaining ingredients together and serve.
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