Russell James’s Creamy Kale Salad

P1070516We’re in Santa Monica! Beautiful sunny, Santa Monica with blazingly brilliant blue skies, gorgeous tree-lined streets, startling coastlines and diverse and daring restaurants! No wonder all the beautiful people are here 😉

I’m here for the month, studying at The Matthew Kenney Raw Cuisine Institute, honing my previous 3 years of experience. Of course, one of the most exciting things about being here, aside from studying at the institute, was the thought of shopping at organic farmers’ markets and whole foods. Sourcing food items in Taipei that are so common here in the US and in South Africa, is always a challenge and requires a certain amount of detective work and a strong community of fellow food enthusiasts. Here, one need only walk down an aisle of Whole Foods to be blown away by the variety of fresh, organic produce available.

Which brings me to the recipe above – I’ve always wanted to try Russell James’s creamy kale salad but sadly this kale was unfindable in Taipei. The moment I saw it at Whole Foods, I knew I would try it.

P1070497Recipe:

3 bunches of curly kale

2 cups of cherry tomatoes

1/2 tsp salt

2 avocado

2 tbls lemon juice

2 tbls chipotle powder (I like it spicy)

1/4 cup olive oil

salt to taste

water to blend

Cut the kale into smaller pieces and remove the harder stemmy parts. Place it in a bowl and massage the salt into it until it looks cooked. You can see in my pics that I didn’t massage too much as I wanted some body and texture. Mix in the cherry tomatoes, which you have sliced into halves.

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I couldn’t resist these tomatoes on the vine, so I used these instead!

In a blender, add the meat of two ripe, Haas avos, the chipotle, lemon juice, salt to taste, olive oil and water.

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Haas have outstanding creaminess and are dirt cheap in California!

 

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Blend with chipotle, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and water

Taste. If you prefer more salt, less lemon, more chipotle, maybe some garam masala, play around. Here’s the thing: the original recipe did not ask for salt in the dressing so I added that in here. Also, I found that it needed some extra kind of creaminess so the next time I make it, I will try to add some coconut butter as well.

Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this salad and will definitely be making it again!

Sweet Jaysus Jicama Beet and Avo Salad with Gorgonzola and Cumin Garlic Dressing

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This was a “What’s in the fridge?” kinda salad. I’ve been so busy with cheese orders that I’ve neglected to cook for my Beloved who’s working on two big architectural projects. I was feeling GUILTY! Nothing better than a gorgeous salad to repent with.

This is a jicama, beet, avo salad with garlic cumin dressing.

Jicama (the white vegetable in the picture) is a Spanish vegetable which is described as a cross between a yam and a turnip.

jicama

jicama

It’s crunchy, a bit sweet and very refreshing. You could just eat it plain and thoroughly enjoyed it as well. You can find jicama at every fresh vegetable market. If you didn’t see it, you probably just weren’t “looking” for it. I’ve not seen jicama in any traditional Taiwanese dishes so I’m always curious about why we have them so plentifully, here. Make hay, people. Make hay.

So to make this salad:

  • Slice jicama as uniformly as possible
  • Wash, peel and slice beets as uniformly as possible
  • Slice and core avo then rub each slice with lemon juice to maintain its colour
  • Arrange on plate as in the main picture.

Dressing

Can you see the bits of cumin powder, black pepper and garlic?

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  • Finely crush 3 cloves of garlic and put it in a bowl
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of freshly-squeezed lemon juice OR 2 tbls cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp of freshly-crushed black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt depending on how large your salad is. In this picture, I used 1 medium beet, 1/2 a medium jicama and 1/2 avo so added 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp powdered cumin and a few sprinkles of whole cumin for texture and bursts of cuminy-goodness

Lightly hand-whisk.

This dressing was inspired by one of my many searches which revealed Cuban chef, Marciel E. Presilla

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Finally, crumble well-aged gorgonzola on top.

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Disfrute!