We often read about Kale-the-superfood, but not everybody loves kale. Perhaps because not everybody has experienced kale in a memorable way. If you have ever eaten the kale salad at Hillstone restaurant (formerly Houstons), you may have met the best kale salad on the planet. It is so good that for me, it has ruined kale salads elsewhere. If you have had it, you know what I am talking about – the asian influenced dressing and the symphony of flavors that leave you hardly able to identify the details. If you and not had the luxury of experiencing this salad or do not have a Hillstone near you, trust me and consider trying this recipe. They do not share their recipes so this is simply a quite decent approximation.
I will make it as easy as possible. It involves a lot of chopping, but it is worth it, and we will do healthy short cuts where they fit in. The beauty of cooking vs baking is that it is not an exact science, which allows for substitutions and modifications to taste. When shopping, always buy the best ingredients possible: organic, top quality. My mantra: Good ingredients make good food.
baby kale– chop it by hand (*BABY kale* is the key here because it is tender, Whole Foods sells it, I just use an entire pkg, it is the base of your salad)
Add about 1/2 as much finely julienned green cabbage (If your Whole Foods sells a cole slaw kit, go for it- use their thinly sliced cabbage to save yourself the cabbage chopping) Your ratio of kale to cabbage should be about 2:1. You’ll barely notice the cabbage.
1 bunch fresh mint chopped finely (I just use the bunch/pkg as sold)
1 bunch cilantro shopped finely (again, I use the bunch, as sold – leaves only, chopped)
1 bunch green onions thinly sliced (again, the bunch as sold)
Note 1: This makes more than the two of us will eat in one sitting, but it is so delicious that we know we will want it again the next day. I like to eyeball the amount I plan to use to mix the dressing into, saving the rest of the greens in a ziplock bag for the next day. This salad is the one and only exception to my husband’s no leftovers rule.
Note 2: The reason I didn’t get into exact measurements is that I felt it unnecessary. It is delicious just like this. Besides, cooking should be fun, not stressful. If you have any questions, email me.
Note 3: Always aim to chop ingredients uniformly for best presentation.
1/2 c peanut oil (buy good quality peanut oil)
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
2 -3tbsp peanut sauce
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1 tsp cayenne pepper (some prefer a dash of tabasco, I prefer cayenne for this)
Salt & pepper to taste
Follow the measurements more closely here. This dressing is so incredible that you may want to double it so you can save what you don’t use for future use. It does not have ingredients that will go bad any time soon.
This dressing would also make a sublime dipping sauce. Extras will not go to waste.
Top salad before serving with:
chopped roasted salted peanuts
This salad is a winner for year round entertaining. If you have any questions, feel free to email me. Same goes for improvements.