Kale recipes have always caught my eye, even before the current vogue for this hardy, cruciferous green.
Stephanie Morgan, founder of Seabirds, Orange County’s superstar vegan gourmet food truck, offers a kale salad in her new e-cookbook, “Seabirds Vegan Revolution” (look for a mention on the Nibbles & Bits page in our March issue). Charmingly illustrated by emeritus bird Nicole Daddona, the downloadable, PDF-format book is $14.99 from iTunes—info’s on the Seabirds website. Just like her truck fare, her Seabirds book is SO not for vegans only.
(One recipe you won’t find in the book is the signature Seabirds Sauce that enhances so many of the truck’s dishes. For that, you’ll have to go to my Taste of Orange County post from last July.)
Dressed and seasoned, raw kale retains a pleasantly chewy bite that plays off the other ingredients in Morgan’s salad. She calls for green apple, but when I asked about substituting the beautiful Asian pears I’d found at the farmers market, she told me she’d just made the salad that way herself! When following this recipe, don’t skip soaking the walnuts—I was amazed how much bitter tannin leaches out by doing so. Love this great hint—and this hearty, satisfying salad.
Kale and Apple Salad with Walnuts and Dried Currants from Seabirds Truck
This is my favorite salad served on the truck. Besides the fact that kale is so freaking amazing and loaded with crazy amounts of vitamins and minerals, this salad also has great texture and balance. The apples provide a juicy crispness, there’s just enough sweetness from the currants and some acid from the dressing, and a satiating earthiness is provided by the walnuts. It’s a dish you will enjoy eating while your body is enjoying the health benefits.—Stephanie Morgan
1 bunch organic kale
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup agave syrup
Zest and juice of half a lemon
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
3 organic green apples, or 2 Asian pears
1 cup raw walnuts, soaked in water for at least four hours
½ cup dried currants
Remove thick rib from kale: Hold each leaf by stem, and run other hand down to the end, separating leaf. Discard rib. Break or cut leaves into bite-sized pieces and place in large bowl.
Whisk together olive oil, agave syrup, lemon zest and juice, cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Pour over kale, and, with fingers, toss and massage into leaves until they soften and darken slightly.
Core apples or Asian pears, slice thinly, add to kale, and toss to coat with dressing. Add walnuts and currants and toss. Adjust seasoning with additional lemon juice, salt, or pepper.