kale salad with preserved lemon and a curry dressing

I swore I didn’t like kale until Deb Perelman posted a recipe for this salad; I tried it for the first time when my friend Erika brought it over for a fall diner party. It turns out Deb used to be in the same camp as I, the camp I labeled as, “everyone who likes kale is actually lying and unhappy.” I will heartily concede that I was partially wrong- fresh, crispy kale is the antidote to many soggy and lifeless salads. However, I remain staunchly opposed to kale chips and what I call “kale accessories.” If you’re going to eat a chip, for goodness sake just eat a real one and enjoy it.

This yummy salad brings together many bold flavors that often stand on their own: preserved lemon, curry dressing, tomato, parmesan…to name a few. But with the right amount of balance this salad is a burst of flavor that will keep you coming back for seconds and thirds. The sturdy kale holds up well to the “wet” ingredients, and I can safely report that I’ve even enjoyed this salad as leftovers the next day (which I find miraculous for a salad). I chose to post this recipe in September in hopes that you can snag some of the late summer tomatoes and also some of the early season kale. If by chance you have some preserved lemons on hand then really you have no excuses! If not, I have an easy recipe for them HERE. And, if you are in the camp “everyone who likes kale is actually lying and unhappy,” give this a try and let me know if you are converted! I was.

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KALE SALAD WITH PRESERVED LEMON AND A CURRY DRESSING

serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side

8 oz lacinato kale
2 oz Parmesan, grated or shaved
1 ripe avocado, diced
1/4 cup pepitas
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons preserved lemon rind, diced small

curry dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1.5 teaspoons onion powder
2.5 teaspoons hot madras curry powder
1.5 teaspoons honey

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Tear kale leaves into bite sized pieces (discarding the stems) and put in a medium serving bowl. Pour 3 tablespoons of the dressing over the kale, toss a few times, and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare/chop the rest of your salad toppings. Once the kale has rested for 10 minutes, add your toppings (parmesan, avocado, pepitas, tomatoes, and preserved lemon rind), saving a little bit of each for garnishing. Toss the salad well, adding more dressing to your preference. Garnish with the remaining toppings and serve. This salad will keep decently until the next day- yay!

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