Ah, the raw kale salad. It has become one of my favorite ways to enjoy kale. This kale salad is refreshing and full of Asian flavors. I added a bunch of fruits and veggies to give it an array of textures and bright flavors – avocado, red bell pepper, fresh pineapple, thinly sliced cucumber, cilantro, cashews, and sesame seeds.
I love adding a few sweet elements to salads, even if they are loaded with veggies. This salad features a mango-chile dressing based on a favorite sweet treat of mine – dried mango rolled in sugar, salt, and red chile flakes. The fresh mango is juicy enough on its own, but I used some fresh orange juice and rice wine vinegar to thin it out a bit. The spicy element comes from samba oelek, a red chile paste that is a refrigerator staple item at our house. This salad is healthy, fresh, and full of bright colors. It’s also incredibly delicious. It’s great for lunch on its own. It would also be a great side salad or starter for dinner.
Raw Kale Salad with Mango-Chile Dressing
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
For raw kale salad:
1 large bunch kale
Juice of 1 lemon or lime
1-2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 medium cucumber, peeled, halved and cut into very thin slices
1 cup thinly sliced fresh pineapple
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raw cashews, roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon raw sesame seeds
1 cup diced mango
Juice of 1 orange
1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar (or lime juice)
1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek (red chile paste)
Salt, to taste
1. Wash kale in a big bowl of water. Rip leaves from stems. Discard stems. Pat or spin leaves dry in a salad spinner. Stack leaves and using a very sharp knife, cut into thin ribbons. Place in a bowl and squeeze the lemon or lime juice over the kale. Use your hands to squeeze and “massage” the kale. This makes the kale more tender.
2. Add the sesame oil and sliced veggies and fruit. Toss gently to mix. Set aside while preparing dressing.
3. For dressing – puree the mango with orange juice and rice vinegar. Pour into a small jar or bowl. Add the samba oelek (red chile paste) and salt.
4. To serve – drizzle the dressing over the top of the salad. Toss to coat and serve.
Yield: 4 servings