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Raw Kale Salad with Dried Fruit, Goat Cheese, Spiced Pepitas, and Flowers

kept byNonie
recipe byEric Gower

It’s pretty rare to be surprised by a salad these days, but this one just might do it. It’s a very open-ended recipe in that you can substitute far and wide and still have it come out tasting great.

The dried fruit can be a big mix of any fruit, but ginger, gojiberry, cranberry, and apricot play beautifully together.

The vinegar can be a combination (apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, and a small amount of balsamic is an excellent one), or a single vinegar; the dried fruit will absorb most of it, creating little sweet-sour blasts throughout the salad.

The flowers are optional, and purely for color, but they are a really nice addition. Don’t skip the toasted pepitas, though — they give the salad a lovely and rather surprising crunch.

Make sure you cut the kale into small pieces, and allow it to marinate a while, to soften it up. Kale becomes more easy to chew when marinated, and pairs well with the variety of strong flavours and textures in this salad.

Yield: 6 large servings


* 1 cup diced dried fruit
* 1 cup vinegar of choice
* 2 small-medium bunches black kale, backbones removed, then somewhat finely chopped
* 1 small watermelon radish, sliced into matchsticks
* 3 or 4 tablespoons fruity green olive oil (extra virgin cold pressed, organic is best)
* sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 cup soft unripened goat cheese, sliced fine
* 1/4 cup or 1/2 cup (if you like more crunch) spiced pepitas — pumpkin seeds that have been covered with olive oil, sea salt, and spicy paprika or cayenne and toasted in a 300 F oven until they pop
* 1/4 cup edible flowers (optional)

Place the chopped fruit in a small mixing bowl, and pour the vinegar over it. Let the dried fruit macerate in the vinegar for a while if you can (say an hour); it will plump up nicely if you do. Do that step first while you wash and chop the kale, slice the radish, and make the pepitas. Place the washed, chopped, and spun kale in an extra-large salad bowl.

Add the vinegared fruit, watermelon radish, and olive oil to the kale and, using your hands, mix well. Dust with salt and pepper as you mix (this is important–it makes the difference between a good salad and a great salad). Top with cheese, pepitas, and flowers.




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