Crispy Kale Salad with Curried Almonds

By on August 4, 2014
Crispy Kale Salad with Curried Almonds - Follow CaliCooking.com for healthy recipes inspired by the California lifestyle

Hi again!

I know, I know, it’s been forever since I last posted! I’ve neglected my food blog baby & for that I apologize. I hope you’ll still enjoy my latest recipe!

I recently tried out a new restaurant with a friend called Hinoki & the Bird in Century City and it was fabulous. I’ll be experimenting with several of the things I tried there, but first, the salad! I know, snore, I got a salad as my entree. But you wouldn’t believe how good this crispy kale salad was…unless you make it for yourself, so go ahead, do yourself a favor and make this!

What sealed the deal for me was the fact that the salad had crispy kale in it. CRISPY KALE!? Kale chips in a salad? Genius as you will soon find out. I had to try it. Well, it was a texture explosion in my mouth. Good salads are all about the texture. If there’s only one texture it’s like a sad droopy mess in your mouth…disgusting and that’s why so many people don’t like salads! Because they eat sad sad droopy salads! Wake up and smell the crispy kale people! Add some interesting crunch to your salad and it will go a long way. The restaurant version’s crispy kale was fried, delicious of course, but I do mine baked and it’s just as good & healthier ;).

This salad had 2 different crunchies in it, lucky me! The crispy kale & some almonds. I can’t decide which crunch I enjoyed more…the almonds were roasted with curry seasoning so that was a flavor explosion and a texture explosion all at once, all very exciting, I know. Stay with me here. The last finishing touch on the salad was pecorino cheese. That’s it. How simple is that? Simple, but one of the best salads I’ve every had. I’ve been making it at least once I week since I had it originally. I also added a few croutons because I just cant resist a few in my salad! Just another crunch to enjoy! Would you like the recipe now? 😉 Ok here ya go.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • 2 bodaciously leafy heads of purple kale washed & dried
  • 3/4 cup raw almonds (you can use already roasted almonds to cut down on cook time but I think the almonds taste 100X better when I toast them myself)
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbps extra virgin olive oil
  • pecorino cheese (however much of it you like!)
  • sea salt
  • 2 pieces of a large garlic loaf or sourdough loaf for the croutons if you like

For the dressing ( I use Giada’s recipe and cut it in half)

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • dash of black pepper

 Crispy Kale Salad with Curried Almonds - Follow CaliCooking.com for healthy recipes inspired by the California lifestyle

Here’s What You’ll Do:

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees F. Once the you’ve washed and dried the kale leaves, start ripping them off the thick stem. I like my leaves to be mostly leaf, no stem, but some people like to leave a little of the stem on…up to you!). Tear off in about 2inch sized pieces or bigger if you like fat kale leaves in your salad.

Cut the bread into tiny crouton sized pieces and put them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with about a teaspoon of curry powder & a bit of salt and throw them in to cook with the kale until crispy.

Take another baking sheet, line it with foil and fill it with about 1/4 of the kale leaves you’ve ripped up. Pour 1 tbsp of olive oil over them and mix well with your hands into all the kale leaves. Sprinkle about 1/4 tsp salt all over them and throw them in the oven for about 10 minutes. Take them out and shake them around after 10 minutes and put them back in for another 10 minutes until they are crispy to your liking!

While the kale is getting toasty in the oven, throw all of the dressing ingredients in your blender and blend away for about 30 seconds on high. Pour about half of it on the remaining kale in a bowl and mix well with your hands, massaging the dressing into the kale for about 30 seconds. If you are really kale-averse, you might want to keep massaging it for another minute, it helps break down the kale making it less bitter, softer, and less fibrous. I save the remaining dressing because if there are any salad leftovers, I save some for the next day. The kale does absorb a lot of the dressing overnight so it’s nice to put a tiny bit more on the next day before you eat.

Let the kale sit in the bowl for at least an hour before serving.

Your croutons and crispy kale might be done at this point. If so, take them out and put them aside for now. If you’re still waiting, start on the almonds next.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil on medium heat and mix in the curry powder and grated ginger. I find it’s easiest to grate ginger when it’s frozen, so I suggest always freezing your ginger if you most often grate it, which I do. Add the almonds in, raw or already roasted, and mix well. If they are already toasted then let it cook for about 2 minutes and let them cool. If yours are raw, let them toast on medium heat for about 10 minutes, shaking the pan frequently so they don’t burn on any one side. After about 10 minutes turn the heat down to low and cook for another 10 minutes. You should hear crackling when they are close to being done. Take them off and let them cool.

When you are ready, plate the raw kale, add some pieces of crispy kale, throw on a few croutons & a small handful of almonds, sprinkle the pecorino on top and voila, you’re done! This makes about 4 servings depending on how big your heads of kale are and how hungry you are. This is great with some curry seasoned protein on the side as well! You just can’t go wrong with this awesome crispy kale salad with curried almonds!

Here’s another picture when I made it with curried chicken.

Crispy Kale Salad with Curried Almonds - Follow CaliCooking.com for healthy recipes inspired by the California lifestyle

 

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