Hi again! I love salads. They are my all time favourite food. Sometimes I'll even eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner! And, if you don't mind me naming favourites, this salad with kale, pineapple and kaffir lime could be The One. Since about last autumn to be precise, which was was when kaffir lime popped up out of some other ingredient stratosphere, and moved into my kitchen. Like a new favourite piece of furniture. But kitchen furniture I guess... or plant furniture. It's funny how ingredients you've not really been exposed to can do that. I love it!
And kale, we'll yes... I probably should mention I have a love affair with that too. Our first introduction I believe, was stir-fried in cream on a Swedish smörgåsbord way back in 1993. Given the fuzziness of this memory though, I'm not sure whether kale made much of an impression at that point. Back then I was more excited about eating pickled herring... (what??). But anyway, I love kale, especially in salads. And, particularly in this salad where the bitterness of the kale marries with the sweetness of the pineapple, the zing of the kaffir lime, the tangy caramel of the simple balsamic dressing, the fatty avocado and umami from the shallot or spring onion. It gets me every time...
how to tips:
In the recipe, I recommend massaging the kale in olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of either himalaya mountain salt or sea salt. For those that haven't worked much with kale before, massaging kale breaks down the fibres, aiding in digestion. Think of it as like a kick-start to the digestion process. In terms of massaging, literally do this with both hands until the kale softens. I also recommend massaging the kale in a separate bowl to the one you will be 'plating' on. By doing this, you won't have an oily plate when you put the salad together.
Although not shown in the pictures, I strongly recommend adding torn shreds of my raw carrot and onion crackers, to the salad like croutons. It adds another dimension. The dill in the crackers does surprisingly work nicely with the salad flavours, although another idea would be to flavour the onion bread with 2 Tbsp of coriander seeds.
Other ideas for garnishes are activated cashew nuts, coriander, micro greens. Here I also garnished with some fancy lettuce leaves I had on hand, which is why the kale is a bit hidden in the final shot! Oops!
- 2 large handfuls of kale leaves (I used purple kale)
- 1/2 avocado chopped
- 1/2 carrot sliced on a mandolin, chopped into chunks or spiralised
- 1/3 cup of pineapple chopped into small pieces
- 1/2 kaffir lime leaf
- 2 cm spring onion finely chopped, or 2 tsp chopped shallot
- sliced green peppar (optional)
- 1 tsp cold-pressed olive oil
- squeeze of lemon juice
- pinch of himalaya mountain salt or sea salt
- fresh coriander, edible flowers, and micro greens for garnish
- simple balsamic dressing
- raw onion bread crackers
- Tear the leaves of the kale from the stalks. (The leftover stalks can be used for juicing).
- Massage the kale in olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of either himalaya mountain salt or sea salt (see 'how to' tips above).
- Transfer kale to serving plate and assemble avocado, carrot, pineapple, shallot/spring onion, green pepper and torn carrot and onion bread (see 'garnish ideas' above).
- Finely chop kaffir lime leaf into small pieces and sprinkle over salad.
- Drizzle over simple balsamic dressing, season with salt and garnish as desired.
Let me know if you have any ideas for variations or just your favourite kale salad recipe!