Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Kale Salad with Creamy Hempseed Dressing


Christmas Kale Salad is a festive, cleansing raw salad that's perfect for holiday season, when sugary treats and heavy fare abound. I made a double big batch to bring to a potluck dinner tonight, starting with two gigantic bags of winter kale that I bought at the Amherst indoor farmer’s market on Saturday: one curly, one rainbow. 

Tender-sweet winter kale is my favorite kale, and it makes a stellar massaged kale salad, as you will see. I made this salad by feel, using basic massaged kale salad principles. This post includes more precise measurements, but here's what I did today:

After removing stems (which I saved for juicing) and cutting the larger kale leaves into smaller pieces, I was able to fill two large mixing bowls with kale. Over the mounded top of each bowl, I squeezed the juice of one and a half lemons (using 3 lemons total), sprinkled a hefty pinch of Himalayan pink salt, and drizzled on some extra virgin olive oil—not too much, just a light, controlled, spiral pour over the leaves on top.

Next, with very clean hands and alternating between bowls, I gently massaged the kale until every nook and cranny was thoroughly coated with oil, salt and lemon juice. During this process, the citric acid and salt break down the cell walls and allow the kale to soften and “cook.” While massaging, I removed stray stems and tore some leaves into smaller pieces. After about ten minutes of going back and forth this way between bowls, the total volume was reduced in size by half, and I was able to combine all the kale into one bowl.

To add a splash of color and some textural variety, I added one large, organic red bell pepper, chopped into a bite-sized dice. Isn’t it beautiful?

 After tossing red pepper and kale together with wooden spoons...

it was time to prepare the Creamy Hempseed Dressing. For this, I used a base of Raw Vegan Hemp Boursin with Fine Herbs (the recipe which I shared with you in my last post). 

Turning Hemp Boursin into dressing couldn't be easier. Simply add two tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar and four tablespoons of water to a half cup of Hemp Boursin, and whisk it all together with a fork. Pour over the kale salad...

 ...and toss well. Voila! The Christmas Kale Salad is complete! I can't wait to eat it!

Merry Christmas everybody! And a joyful end of 2012 to all. 
Love and light, 

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