In honor of summer, my kale-krazed family has turned off the oven. (Although summer in San Francisco is cool enough that you’ll still people wearing down jackets at night, we like to be in sync with the rest of the country.) We’re still eating kale, but instead of baking it into chips, we’ve been eating kale salads. Shed your crunchy kale prejudices– this is not co-op food, this is raw food for a new age of flavor! After experiencing the therapeutic joy of massaging shredded kale with dressing, you’ll reward your taste buds with bursts of flavor and texture. There’s the creaminess of avocado to temper the slight bitterness of the kale. Then I’ve added the cool, juicy crispness of jicama, the sweetness of summer strawberries happily mellowed with balsamic, and to top things off, spiced up pepitas for a final crunch. I haven’t told my kids what a nutritious powerhouse this salad is yet, because they like it so much. But if you’re wondering, it’s full of antioxidants, potassium, folate, vitamin C, fiber, healthy fats and protein– a very well-rounded, one bowl meal.
Party in Your Mouth Summer Avocado and Kale Salad
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into chunks
1 bunch kale (I used the curly variety here, but I like dinosaur kale too)
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup jicama, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
2-4 tablespoons zesty spiced pepitas (recipe follows)
- Prepare the dressing: whisk together the last four ingredients, and set aside.
- Wash and dry the kale and remove the tough central rib. Then tear off the leaves and shred into strips, and place into a salad bowl.
- Pour the prepared dressing over the shredded kale and massage with your hands until the leaves start to wilt, about 1-2 minutes.
- Top wilted kale with remaining fruits/vegetables, then top with desired amount of pepitas (recipe follows) just before serving.
Zesty Spiced Pepitas:
1 cup pepitas, untoasted
zest of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon sugar
dash of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
- Toast pumpkin seeds in oil in a 10- to 12-inch heavy skillet over low heat, stirring constantly, until puffed and golden, 5 to 8 minutes, then remove from heat.
- In a separate bowl, combine orange zest, sugar, salt, cinnamon and cayenne.
- Toss toasted pepitas with the spice mixture until evenly coated.