Kale Salad with a Tamarind Dressing and Fried Garlic (vegan, gluten-free)


 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.

Kale Salad with Tamarind Dressing and Fried Garlic
  1. 2 bunches lacinato (dino) kale
  2. 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. 1/2 sweet apple (like Pink Lady), sliced thinly
  1. 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  2. 2 tablespoons meyer lemon juice
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons tamarind paste
  4. 1 teaspoon agave or honey
  5. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  6. 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  7. 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  1. 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.
  2. 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.*
  3. 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).
  4. Top the salad with the garlic and apple slices and serve.
  1. Serves 2-3
  2. *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.
chel rabbit http://chelrabbit.com/

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