Want to know how to make kale sexy and jaw-droppingly tasty? A dark leafy green, kale is packed with nutrients but not the easiest to make exciting. Most recipes ask you to boil or sauté the kale until it gives in, turning the tough leafs and stems into softer but often over-cooked mash. But, it doesn’t have to be prepared that way.
Let me introduce you to a raw kale salad that will change every way you think about kale from Esalen a legendary workshop and retreat center in Big Sur, California. In addition to having stunning hot tubs set above the Pacific Coast, Esalen has their own gardens and the food there is nothing short of amazing.
This kale salad was my favorite dish on their menu—and featured in the Esalen Cookbook.
The simple kale salad dressing features three key ingredients: tamari soy sauce, lemon juice and olive oil. This dressing marinates the kale and breaks down the tough and slightly bitter vegetable. Like lemon juice in ceviche the dressing transforms the kale almost like cooking while maintaining the crunchy integrity of the leaves. Toasted sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds give the salad additional texture and crunch, while only taking fifteen minutes to prepare.
P.S. Sesame seeds are actually a spice, when toasted they give off a buttery, and nutty flavor.