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Meatless Monday: Kale and avocado salad

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Living MacTavish

(Read caption) Leafy green kale when used raw for salad needs to be "tamed" by marinating it in dressing for at least a half an hour.

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With all the rich foods that descend upon our tables during the holiday season, this kale salad is a welcome relief, and you'll have no guilt going back for seconds. Kale was a mystery to me until I was well settled into living the Northern California way of life. Growing up in Scotland in the 1980s, this leafy green did not make any appearances on our menu at school or at home, nor did it turn up in the veggie section of the green grocer. But now kale is popping up everywhere from juices to risottos. 

When I have friends over, it's rare that there are less than a dozen people sitting around the table. It's far too hard for me to keep track of varying dietary restrictions of my pals so I save myself the stress and don't attempt to do that. Instead, I try to make sure that there's at least one or two dishes that'll satisfy everyone. This kale salad has proven to be a winner time and time again for both the meat lovers and the vegans alike. It is super "more-ish" (British slang for wanting more) and so good for you, too, as it's packed with antioxidants and vitamins. 

Most good grocery stores have kale already chopped up and packaged ready to go which eliminates the scary proposition of having to tackle a whole bunch of it oneself with a knife. I find the big bunches of leafy greens intimidating at the market. I like to include avocado in this recipe as it makes the salad a little more luxurious-tasting but if you can't find any ripe and reasonably priced avocados in your neck of the woods, the kale is still delicious without it.

Make the salad at least half an hour before you want to eat it so that the kale can marinate and become a little more gentle in the mouth. In other words, this is a good salad to make ahead if you have guests coming over. 

Kale and avocado salad

Serves 6 

For the vinaigrette:

1/3 cup of toasted sesame seed oil

1/4 cup of toasted sesame seeds

1 clove of grated garlic

A sprinkling of rice vinegar (or any kind of vinegar will do finely but I find this tastes the best to me)

Salad:

1 bag of chopped kale, or a bunch of kale chopped into thin strips

1 avocado sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix the vinaigrette together and then toss with the salad. Let the salad marinate for at least 30 minutes.

The salad will last for a day or two in the fridge.

Susan MacTavish Best cooks and writes at www.LivingMacTavish.com

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