A few months ago, I discovered a really awesome kale salad at Whole Foods courtesy of M Cafe de Chaya. It was so good, I was literally having it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I never really thought to try and recreate it on my own until I came across this recipe on The Kitchn. Post-Thanksgiving I was really in the mood for simple, fresh food. I didn't over indulge this year, but I still wanted something light after a day of traveling. This salad is really close to that Chaya version and doesn't weigh you down. The only thing is that I wish I had more of the dressing to really coat everything. If you make this, I strongly suggest that you double the recipe for the dressing. I gobbled this just as willingly and without shame as the Chaya version. It's such a great salad recipe, I will probably be having this at least once a week while kale is in season.
Kale Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
(Adapted from The Kitchn)
Makes 2 large servings
1 large bunch curly or lacinato kale
1 large carrot, peeled
6 tablespoons roasted, salted peanuts, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons packed brown sugar, or more to taste
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Pinch red pepper flakes
Fold each leaf of kale in half lengthwise and slice out the center rib. Discard ribs. Roll a stack of the leaves up and slice in half lengthwise, then crosswise into very fine ribbons. Wash and rinse thoroughly in a salad spinner.
Slice the carrot very thin, either by creating curls with a peeler, or by running the halved carrot lengthwise down a mandoline. Toss with the kale and 3 tablespoons of the peanuts.
In a chopper or small food processor, briefly puree the remaining 3 tablespoons peanuts, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper flakes. Pulse it just a few times; the peanuts should be partially pureed, but with some nibs and nubs still left in the dressing. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary.
Toss the dressing with the slaw and let it sit for at least a few minutes before serving.