I’m not huge on holidays, and rather less huge on themed food for holidays (apart from Thanksgiving and the baking and beverages surrounding that one consumer holiday in December). Since we got our grill, however – because we have a space to have one now – I’m not opposed to an excuse for using it for various summertime holidays. We had a couple friends over who brough mojitos and ketchup (we forgot to get some at the store), and grilled up a lot of stuff. Not pictured are the Smoked Apple and Sage Field Roast sausages which were delightful with some of the aforementioned ketchup, grainy French mustard, banana peppers, and a little sauerkraut… but behold the strawberry and basil green salad, okra, corn on the cob*, and avocado:
*Notice those various colored dealies right above the salad? They’re corn cob prongs in the shape of dogs… corn dogs!
Despite the relative green theme of our meal, I tend to feel a bit stuffed and icky the day after a holiday feast. Trying not to spend my entire checking account on eating out at Ecopolitan (the local raw place) inspires me to try and rip off replicate a few of their dishes for a cheaper and often tastier homemade meal. Today I give you my version of their Purple Kale Salad, a name which is a bit misleading as the purple actually refers to red cabbage and not the variety of kale. The relatively bitter taste of raw kale and the accompanying red cabbage is balanced with sweet raisins, sweet-tart kiwifruit, tomatoes, and a tahini-garlic dressing that helps soften the greens. This is a case where I think my version turned out better than what I’ve gotten at the restaurant lately. But it may be the use of my CSA farm-fresh kale or that I probably add a few more raisins than they do Keeping the kale thinly sliced (important!) helps break up its fibrous texture, and the acids in the dressing and tomatoes help to soften it further. A great introduction to eating raw kale with little or no need to marinate or massage it!
Fruited Cabbage Kale Salad with Tahini-Garlic Dressing (serves 2-3):
1/4 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
3 large leaves kale, destemmed and thinly sliced
1 c diced tomato
1-2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 c raisins
1-2 kiwifruit, peeled, quartered and sliced
2 tbsp raw tahini
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 c water (or as needed to thin out dressing)
Gomasio, to taste (omit this if you want to remain 100% raw)
Combine kale, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, and raisins in a large mixing bowl, reserving the kiwifruit. Make the dressing by combining tahini, lemon juice, garlic and water in a sealed jar and shaking until homogenized. Pour over kale mixture and toss until evenly distributed. Stir in kiwi. Let sit a few minutes if desired to help the kale soften up a bit.
Fill plates or bowls with salad and top with optional gomasio (if you like a little salt in there… my second serving was gomasio-free and equally delicious!).