Someone asked me the other day if I ate kale.
Erm, yeah. Once a day, at this point. I know everyone loves kale, and kale salad in particular is pedestrian at this point, but I don’t care – this is a combination of some of my favorite flavors and I think you need it.
I didn’t really start cooking with tamarind paste until recently, but man, it’s like there was a little treat out there in the world waiting for me to discover it. Persimmons were like that for me, too. I hope there are more things like that and I haven’t eaten all the good things already. In any case, I’m getting my tamarind fix on. Tamarind paste is actually just the mushed-up tamarind fruit sans seeds and shell – they look like enormous brown fava bean pods, and it tastes like a soury punch in the face. My friend Aakash eats it with a spoon, but he’s a little weird. I thought I was a genius when I discovered it can make regular tomato ketchup taste like the best BBQ sauce, but unfortunately there are a lot of geniuses in on that already.
Also, cheers to Burma SuperStar for putting me on a fried garlic fix, I really think it makes this salad. If you’re ever in Oakland, make sure to go (and ask me what to order!).
But this is definitely different: sweet and tangy Meyer lemon juice and crispy Pink Lady apple slices, sour tamarind, crunchy, nutty fried garlic, and silky smooth kale. What’s up. Eat it.
- 2 bunches lacinato (dino) kale
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 sweet apple (like Pink Lady), sliced thinly
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons meyer lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons tamarind paste
- 1 teaspoon agave or honey
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Rinse the kale and pat dry or spin dry in a salad spinner. Remove tough stalks and tear leaves into pieces and put in a medium-sized bowl.
- Fry the garlic: in a sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Fry the thin slices of garlic until brown on one side, flip, and fry until the second side is browned -- the second side will not take as long as the first. Using a fork, remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel.*
- Combine all dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Pour the dressing over top of the kale and massage into it until the greens are dark and silky, about 1 minute (up to 5 minutes for curly kale).
- Top the salad with the garlic and apple slices and serve.
- Serves 2-3
- *With the leftover oil that was used to fry the garlic, fry the kale stems until a bit blackened and tender. It's my favorite.