Kale and I never used to get along. My first job was in a pizza parlor. Every morning we had to fill the salad display with ice and prepared salads. These displays were edged with large leaves of kale which we kept in a bucket with water when not on display. They smelled horrible. It wasn’t being kept in the water; they smelled horrible when they were freshly delivered. I often put the produce order away and they stunk right off the truck. I couldn’t imagine how people could eat the stuff. I knew they did, but it was smelly and the leaves were tuff and fibrous. It was even worse if you were hung over.
Twenty some years later a coworker offered me his salad that he wasn’t going to eat. Kale and I had met a few times at the store and farmer’s market but there had been no real introduction. This kale looked different and it didn’t seem to smell, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to go there. But this coworker had pretty good taste and the salad had sesame and ginger in it. You can sell me just about anything if it’s been coated in sesame and ginger. It was love at first bite and kale and I have been spending a lot of quality time together since. It’s even managed to introduce me to some of its other leafy friends like sorrel, mustard, and beet. A gate opened and suddenly there was a whole new leafy world available!
This is my ode to that life changing salad.
Sesame Ginger Kale Salad
½ Tbsp. shredded fresh ginger
¼ cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 ½ Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
4-5 cups finely chopped kale
1 cup shredded carrot
½ cup diced red onion
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
Combine the ginger, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, and sesame oil in a closed container and shake to mix or in a small bowl and whisk together.
Add the kale, carrot, and onion to a salad bowl. Add the dressing and sesame seeds and toss the salad to combine all ingredients. Enjoy!