Just a week ago, while making one of my favourite recipes (which calls for dark greens, either collard or kale), I was hit with a sudden craving for kale salad.
Kale is an interesting vegetable, in that I never ate much of it until in recent years. It was probably when I got interested in juicing that I first bought kale on my own, but even then, I used it in the actual juices, because I’d read that it’s rich in all sorts of vitamins and minerals – as dark leafy greens tend to be. It also can (supposedly) do a number on your digestive system, cleaning out the colon and such. I never noticed a dramatic effect on or change in the way my body detoxed because of incorporating more greens, but I can see how it makes sense.
Anyway, figuring out how to use kale in meals was something I was interested in but it always seemed to be involved as one component in complex meals – more like a garnish than a main dish.
Then earlier this year, I threw a vegan dinner party potluck for some of my graduate school friends, asking each of them to bring a vegan appetizer, side, or dessert, while I supplied some of the more main courses. One classmate, Tanya, brought a kale salad, and I fell in love. It was so intense in flavour, yet so simple, and refreshing. At my request, she sent me the recipe, which I’ve made a couple times since.
Naturally, when I experienced this resurgence in craving kale (likely a response to the massive amounts of bread I eat daily), I thought of this recipe, and last night I made it.
However, since it seems impossible to find kale in the German supermarkets (and since every green thing seems to be labeled as “kohl,” aka “cabbage” or “collard” or “kale” but only with some word in front of it denoting which kind), I got what seemed to be closest to kale: Kohlrabi.
Kohlrabi, as I later found out, is a German turnip, which some stores sell just as the bulb, but others also sell with the leaves. Since the leaves were what I wanted, that’s what I got.
-In a large bowl, mix equals parts of lemon juice, soy sauce and olive oil.
-Slice a red onion in very thin half circles. Marinate it in the mixture.
-De-stem the kale. Slice it in 1/8”-1/4” pieces. Add it to the mixture.
-Let it marinate 1-4 hours. Stir occasionally.
-Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds.
In this case, I used fresh-squeezed lemon, which I think is always better than the bottled kind, although that works as well. I also didn’t add seeds on top, because they add a nice taste but are entirely unnecessary, and I put in some chopped raw garlic. Basically, this recipe is easily customizable, and also just easy.
When the salad is gone, there will likely marinade remaining in the bottom. My suggestion is to use that as the base for the next round you make, or pour it on top of rice or a tofu dish to add some extra flavoring.