I’ve seen a hilarious kitchen magnet that says, “This salad tastes like I’d rather be fat.” Even so, the key to eating in a way that’s physically and mentally good for me is to have an enormous healthy salad every day for lunch. This strategy limits future damage for the rest of the day. I have found, though, that even when I change up the ingredients, salad fatigue kicks in after a while. My solution? A really, really different salad dressing.
This particular recipe is from Smitten Kitchen, one of the best, funniest, most well-written food blogs out there. I love this dressing because it doesn’t overwhelm more robust greens, such as kale.
A brief kale tutorial
I like to use lacatino (or dinosaur) kale because it is less tickly in my mouth than the curly variety; but it also can have a somewhat leathery texture when it’s raw. To get around this, after I remove the kale stems, I roll up the leaves like a cigar (I remind you of Carmen, don’t I?) and cut the roll into very thin slices. This technique also goes by the name “chiffonnade.” If you want the leaves to be even softer, you can soak them for a bit in some acidic liquid, such as orange juice or rice vinegar. Alternatively, you can squish (or “massage,” to put it more elegantly) the leaves with your fingers for a bit to soften them up.
For this salad, I used shrimp as my protein, toasted pumpkin seeds for crunch, orange slices for sweetness, and radishes to make the photograph prettier.
Sesame Miso Salad Dressing
1 Tbsp gingerroot (about a 1-inch chunk)
1 small garlic clove
2 Tbsp white (mild) miso
2 Tbsp tahini (or peanut butter)
1 Tbsp honey
4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) rice vinegar
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp olive oil
With the motor of a food processor running, add the gingerroot and garlic. Process until minced.
Add the miso, tahini, honey, and vinegar. Process for a few seconds.
With the motor running, add the sesame and olive oils in a stream, and process for a few more seconds.
I hope you love this as much as I do. Eat up!