If you’re going to pick only one kale salad to add to your repertoire, let it be this one. It’s one of the most popular recipes from The Short Stack Cookbook, and with good reason: it’s both hearty and incredibly flavorful, allowing all the virtuousness of a salad without any feelings of deprivation.
Kale Salad with Turmeric Cauliflower, Spiced Cashews & Pumpkin Seeds
The definition of salad is a mutable, transitory thing. But one thing we know for sure is that it goes way beyond lettuce. In fact, for anything denser than cucumbers and tomatoes, lettuce is a weak ride. When roots and starchy heads of cauliflower enter into the salad discussion, hearty greens step up. Kale is a natural for these types of salad—so much so that its ubiquity has prompted pushback and accusations of sharkjumping. Well, we haven’t grown cynical on the kale salad, particularly a version like this one. Warm Indian spices seep into every bite, and all those bites have a satisfying crunch that will resonate even if you prepare the salad hours beforehand.
FOR THE CAULIFLOWER:
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or coconut oil
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
4 cups (540g) bite-size cauliflower florets (less than 1 inch large), from about 2 large heads
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
Juice of 1 lime
FOR THE SPICED CASHEWS:
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil or coconut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or
Piment d’Espelette (optional)
1 cup (120 g) raw cashews
5 thyme sprigs
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup (65 g) pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
FOR THE KALE SALAD:
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
2 bunches Lacinato kale, tough stems removed, leaves stacked and sliced crosswise into thin ribbons
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons (75 ml) grapeseed oil
Make the cauliflower: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the turmeric and coriander and cook for 20 seconds, then add the cauliflower and salt and stir to combine. Cook the cauliflower, stirring often, until it is tender and golden brown in spots, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer the cauliflower to a medium bowl and toss with the lime juice.
Make the spiced cashews: Return the skillet to medium heat and add the oil, garam masala and cayenne (if using). Once the spices start to sizzle, 1 to 2 minutes, add the cashews, thyme, sugar and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the cashews are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin seeds and cook, stirring constantly, until they start to pop, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Transfer the nuts and seeds to a plate. Strip the fried leaves from the thyme sprigs and set aside.
Make the kale salad: Add the red onion to a fine-mesh sieve and toss with ½ teaspoon of salt. Set aside while you prepare the kale. Add the kale to a large serving bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon and lime juices, the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt, the pepper and the grapeseed oil. Pour the mixture over the kale and massage the greens with your hands for 3 to 4 minutes, until they start to soften and wilt. Rinse the onion slices under cold water, then use a paper towel to blot them dry. Add the onion to the salad along with the cauliflower and toss to combine. Sprinkle the fried thyme leaves over the salad. Sprinkle with the cashew–pumpkin seed mixture and serve.