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I know, I know. Everyone is sick to death of kale. Kale salad, in particular. Me? I really love kale salads – not to mention sauteed kale and kale in soups. But in salads I only like it when the bitterness of the kale leaves isn’t overpowering.
Let’s begin at the beginning. I eat in restaurants less than most of you, but I love to occasionally patronize my Queen Anne neighborhood place in Seattle, GRUB. It’s consistent, the food isn’t fussy but it’s always fresh and seasonal, the ambience is nice and homey, and it’s obvious that the owner loves what she does…how could I not support a place like this?
The point is, though, that they have a wonderful, room temperature-ish kale and cauliflower salad. It might just as well be called a cauliflower-kale salad because there are about equal parts kale and cauliflower. I always order this whether we stop by for dinner or appetizers.
I loved it so much I decided to try a similar version at home. Originally I thought I’d make mine with lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur kale or black cabbage. It is one of my favorite types of kale because it is pretty tender and tasty. Grub’s kale salad is composed of curly, firmer kale that tends to be more bitter.
But hold on. When I visited my daughter in early April, she did HER rendition of the salad using curly kale and adding in tiny tiny barberries that she soaked. The salad went from a “9” to a “10” in my eyes. The tiny, ruby barberries were the perfect addition. These little barberries, available in Middle Eastern grocery stores, are tart with a hint of sweetness and I love love love them. I’m already figuring to other ways to use them in my baking and cooking…
Now this salad is in my lineup. It is locally sourced, vegan, non-GMO, non dairy…in other words it fits all the popular foodie parameters. If this sounds bland or tasteless or non-appealing, think again. THIS RECIPE IS FAB!
Kale & Cauliflower Salad
- 4 cups green curly kale (I used redbor kale from my farmers market)
- 4 cups cauliflowerettes, cut into ½ inch pieces
- ½ cup cooked and rinsed garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- About ¼ cup lemon tehina dressing
- 2 Tbsp fresh chopped mint
- 2 Tbsp dried barberries, dried cherries, dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds-depending on the season. If using cherries or cranberries, dice them into tiny currant sized pieces.
Preheat the oven to 425 and line a large, rimmed cookie sheet with parchment or foil.
Begin by removing kale leaves from the stems until it looks like you have 4 cups worth, and roughly tear into pieces that are about 1 ½ inches. Add ½ tsp sea salt and massage for 3-5 minutes. Taste the kale and if it is no longer bitter, you are done and should get a masseuse license! When you are finished it will have decreased in volume and feel softer. Set aside while you do everything else.
Toss cauliflowerettes with olive oil and bake on a prepared cookie sheet in the oven for 15 minutes. They won’t be finished but you can add beans to the pan and do both at the same time!
Dry the garbanzo beans well and coat them with one teaspoon extra virgin olive oil and roast along with caulifloweretttes on the same rimmed sheet. Continue cooking both the beans and cauliflower for another 10 minutes or until nicely browned, sizzling and even charred on the edges. Remove from the oven.
Whisk together the tehina dressing.
You can make the salad while the vegetables are still warm or do it once they are room temperature. Add the kale to the roasted vegetables, barely coat with tehina dressing. Season with salt and pepper if needed, and fold in barberries and chopped mint. Eat. Eat more!