Spring weather is trying its damnedest to arrive, which means that soon the season for fresh peas, wild ramps, savory morels and more first-up up edibles will shake our hibernating taste buds awake.
In these last few weeks of winter eating—when you’re craving something, anythingfresh—you’ll have to cheat a bit. The following recipe comes from Wicked Spoon, a buffet at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, and will help you through to spring. The restaurant uses hearty kale as a salad base, coats it with a sweet and sour ginger sauce, and finishes the dish with spicy roasted pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries.
Wicked Spoon allows the salad to marinate in the dressing for a few hours—a trick that helps turn the kale extra tender—so it makes for an awesome do-ahead, work-week lunch option. Their recipe calls for black Tuscan kale, but red leaf or curly green kale work well, too. You’ll have dressing left over (this recipe makes about a quart), but you can use it to toss with other salads—or just more of this salad. It’s that good.
Kale salad with ginger dressing, spiced pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries
Recipe by Wicked Spoon at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
What you’ll need:
2 bunches black Tuscan kale*
1 shallot, minced
¼ cup, plus 1 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
¼ cup ketchup
¼ cup water
¾ cup rice wine vinegar
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 ¼ cup canola oil
½ cup pumpkin seeds
1 tsp olive oil
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
½ cup dried cranberries
Salt and pepper, to taste
How to make it:
1. De-vein the kale by using the tip of a sharp knife to remove the thickest part of the stem.
Working in batches, stack the leaves and then slice the kale into thin ribbons. Set aside.
2. Next, make the dressing. In a food processor or blender, add the shallot, ginger, garlic, celery, ketchup, water, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and lemon juice. Blend, gradually adding the canola oil until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. Preheat your oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin seeds, olive oil, chili powder, and cayenne pepper. Toss to coat and then scatter them on a baking sheet. Roast the seeds in the oven until browned and aromatic, about 10 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl, toss the kale with the ginger dressing. Allow the salad to sit with the dressing for a few hours before serving to flavor and texture.
5. Just before serving, re-toss the salad, adding the reserved pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries. Make 4 servings.