Crunchy Crispy Kale & Fresh Herb Salad with Miso Dressing

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Suddenly, humble kale is the star veggie, and it's well deserved stardom: Kale tastes wonderful when properly prepared and is a nutritional powerhouse.

This salad combines my two favorite kale preparations: raw, very thinly sliced (see technique below), and baked to a crisp (or a chip). These two kale variations, combined with dried currant's sweetness, delicate herbs' freshness and the miso saltiness make a salad that explodes with flavor.

Which kale to choose? I like them all, but the flat leaf kale such as lacinato or Tuscan kale is much easier to chop than the curly variety.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • 20 leaves of kale, stems removed
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups thinly sliced stemmed kale (*directions below)
  • 1 cup finely chopped parsley, cilantro or dill, or combination of tender fresh herbs
  • 3 tablespoons dried currants
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
  • optional: 1-2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

For the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon mild yellow miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

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Kristin's kale salad 001Kristin's kale salad 001

Preparation:

Heat oven to 250°F (120°C)

Brush kale leaves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, and arrange in single layer in 2-3 baking sheets

Bake until kale is crisp, 15-25 minutes

Whisk the dressing ingredients.

Mix the chopped kale, currants, Parmesan and parsley (and toasted pine nuts if using) with the dressing

Add the crisp kale, crushed to bitesize pieces, right before serving

Serves 4-8

* Kale is rather tough and chewy, but this preparation renders it tender and almost delicate: Break or cut off the tough stems. Wash thoroughly and dry well in a salad spinner or a towel. Roll a bunch of leaves tightly, jelly-roll fashion. Slice crosswise as thinly as you can, chiffonade style and separate into strips.

Enjoy, Dr. Ayala

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