Do you really need another recipe for kale salad? You may think not. But this recipe, from Deborah Madison's recently re-released cookbook, The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, offers a couple of techniques that can add new life to the perhaps overly trendy dish. First, she toasts a batch of soy- and shichimi togarashi-glazed pumpkin seeds to toss with the greens. The hot seeds readily absorb the umami-filled sauce and heat of the Japanese chile—they're addictive on their own and a genius addition to the earthy kale. Madison also uses a hot vinaigrette for the salad, which wilts the kale within seconds and prevents any need to massage or marinate before serving. Your tired hands will thank you.
Why I picked this recipe: I'll be honest, I didn't think I wanted to assemble yet another kale salad, but the glazed pumpkin seeds swayed me. I can't say no to shichimi togarashi.
What worked:This salad is quick, easy, and a worthy addition to my kale repertoire.
What didn't: Nothing.
Suggested tweaks: If you've got the shichimi togarashi, you might as well sprinkle some more of it over the finished salad. (Why not?) If you can't find it, you can sprinkle a little cayenne on the seeds for heat. The recipe doubles easily if you'd like to serve it for a party. It also holds up very well in the fridge, so it makes a great make-ahead lunch.
Reprinted with permission from The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. Copyright 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- Yield:Serves 2 to 4
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:20 minutes
- 1 bunch Tuscan kale, enough to make 4 cups slivered, stems removed first
- 1 cup raw, hulled pumpkin seeds
- Soy sauce or tamari
- Dash shichimi togarashi, optional
- 4 scallions, including a few inches of the greens, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon organic apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly milled pepper
First, prepare the kale and have it ready in a shallow bowl.
Heat the pumpkin seeds in a skillet, scooting them back and forth every few minutes, until golden. Turn off the heat and sprinkle soy sauce over the hot seeds. Slide the pan rapidly back and forth to coat the seeds, season with the shichimi togarashi, then turn them onto a plate to cool. You don't need a lot of soy sauce, probably about a teaspoon in all. Reserve 1/4 cup to use for the salad, and save the remainder for another use.
Toss the seeds, along with the scallions, with the kale.
Whisk the cider, mustard, and oil together in a small skillet. Heat until bubbling, then pour it over the kale and toss immediately. Pick up some of the kale with tongs and use it to wipe out the pan. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste.