Saturday, February 26, 2011

I ate the best kale salad I've ever eaten in my life on Friday.

The restaurant I got it from is located right downstairs from my gym, where I stopped in with a friend after we took a very intense yoga class. Later, during a delightful drizzly afternoon in Laurel Canyon, we pondered the recipe, among other things.

I had thought that the kale was blanched, perhaps -- the texture was so interesting, cooked but not soft. Today I found the recipe and for a moment, rejoiced. Until I started really reading it. This was going to require math. And a lot of it.

The All Hail Kale Salad apparently calls for 6 bunches of kale to serve 8. Now, I'm fairly certain I could tuck away 2 servings a day for a couple days, so maybe I could halve the recipe. But then that means changing the rest of the recipe. How does one measure 1/2 an ounce of ginger, I ask you? And how many cups is in 1 1/4 quarts of Ginger Papaya Dressing? And how many cobs of corn does one roast to acquire 1 cup of roasted niblets? And am I going to be swimming in corn salsa if I make it as directed?

Recipe math is always tricky, too, because even if you get all the numbers right, the chemical reactions may be totally off. For example, I suspect that the enzymes in the papaya are what makes the kale have such a unique type of bite in this salad -- soft but maintaining the rough integrity of the leafy green. So if I halve the papaya in the dressing, will the kale soften as much? Questions, questions, questions. The questions are actually the way I talk myself out of running out to try and make this right this second. I'm sure I could spend the time to figure it all out on the internet. Or just suck it up and swim through kale for a week.

Or maybe one day, I'll feed an army of friends and loved ones this dish at a potluck. Until then, you taunt me, All Hail Kale salad.


  1. This recipe looks delicious! I've got to try it, though I'll probably halve it, too. I'd think if you cut everything in half you wouldn't have to worry about disrupting any chemical reactions in the dressing. You're right that there's some guesswork involved, but isn't all cooking a grand experiment? I bet it'll turn out great.

  2. dude, yeah. you're right! i'll give it a try

  3. I love lactino (dinosaur) kale for this. It has a great texture! I like to make my kale salad w/ lemon and anchovies... sound like a recipe you'd want? (Not that it's more than those three items w/olive oil.)

  4. sounds nice, carrie -- so, what do you do with those ingredients? saute 'em?