Hello from sunny San Diego! I’ve been soaking up sunshine on the beach and clinking drinks with a good friend over the past few days. Maybe a little too much of each. For once, I’m looking forward to returning to my regular routine. Long walks with Cookie and big green salads like this one sound mighty appealing at the moment.
Before I skipped town, P.F. Chang’s challenged me to create an original recipe containing a few of their summer seasonal ingredients. Avocado, pineapple, quinoa, lime, red bell pepper, Thai basil? Challenge accepted! I really love creating recipes around special ingredients; constraints seem to inspire creativity. Please let me know if you have any recipe requests for me.
For this challenge, I ended up an Asian-inspired kale salad tossed in a homemade tamari-ginger vinaigrette. It’s loaded with crisp carrots, bell pepper and snap peas, and balanced with creamy avocado and edamame. The kale salad recipes on this blog are among my favorites, but this one might just be tops.
I only wish I had one of these detoxifying kale salads waiting for me at home. Cookie and I walk past a P.F. Chang’s every evening, so we might sample their fresh summer menu while my fridge is empty.
- 1 bunch kale (preferably lacinato/Tuscan/dinosaur kale but regular curly kale works, too)
- fine-grain sea salt
- 1 cup chopped snow peas (slice off tough ends first)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and ribboned with a vegetable peeler
- 1 small red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 1 heaping cup organic edamame (if using frozen edamame, defrost by tossing into a pot of boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes)
- 1 avocado, pitted and sliced into small chunks
- 1 large shallot, finely sliced
- handful cilantro, chopped
- handful Thai basil (or regular basil), chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari (or other low-sodium soy sauce*)
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
- Use a chef's knife to remove the tough ribs from the kale, then discard them. Chop the kale leaves into small, bite-sized pieces and transfer them to a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the kale with a dash of sea salt and use your hands to massage the kale by scrunching up the leaves in your hands and releasing until the kale is a darker green and fragrant. Toss the remaining salad dressing ingredients with the kale.
- To make the vinaigrette, whisk together all the ingredients until emulsified. Toss the dressing with the salad and serve.
Storage suggestions: Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for a day or two.
*Make it gluten free: Tamari is a gluten-free Japanese soy sauce that has a flavor I love and is readily available at stores. If you want your salad to be gluten-free, be sure to pick a gluten-free soy sauce.
Want more kale salads? Check out my kale salad roundup and tips!