There’s a certain urgency I feel when I’m at the farmer’s market and I’m deciding what I want to buy, and it’s not a good urgency. It’s the urgency caused by a thousand heads of kale peeking out at me from the reusable bags of their well-intentioned shoppers. It’s an urgency that then leads me to examine the many varieties of kale that are on sale, trying to overcome the fact that I find most vegetables utterly repugnant. It’s an urgency that brings out feelings of guilt and anxiety and SHAME, because no self-respecting adult should feel so abhorrent towards plants and their nutritional content.
I guess I have an uneasy relationship with vegetables. Kale, with its gray-green and fibrous leaves, exemplifies everything funny I feel towards them. I want to like it though, and therein lies the problem. I mean, it’s a pretty cool vegetable: its color makes me swoon, its texture reminds me of the skin of a dinosaur, and it’s so damn healthy it hurts. I just can’t get over the taste.
So what else is a person to do in such a situation except brute force it? Try as many kale recipes as possible until she finds one to her liking? That’s what I’ve been trying to do, and this recipe is a step forward in my learning to like it.
It originally caught my eye because of the pairing of kale with avocado. Um, I love avocado. Avocado has the power to correct the taste of anything, just like tomatoes, or soy sauce. Avocado makes me think of California. It also makes me think of Chile, except it’s called palta there and Chileans pile it on hot dogs and it is delicious.
So wouldn’t it make perfect sense that avocado complements kale? In the salad, creamy countered tough… and what a successful experiment in contrasts it was. Along with the citrus-y dressing, this salad mellowed the toughness of the kale with notes of sweet and tart.
It was lovely. I ate the whole thing singlehandedly! Also, if you don’t mind the discoloration of avocado, it tastes better after you’ve left the flavors hang out together for awhile. It was delicious with scrambled eggs for lunch.
I’ll keep searching (a blessing and a curse, never being satisfied with a recipe) but it’s good to know that I’ve got a solid kale recipe in my arsenal.
KALE AVOCADO SALAD
Adapted from Saveur
1⁄2 cup orange juice
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp soy sauce
1 clove garlic, smashed and chopped into a paste
4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 avocados, halved, pitted, and peeled
2 Tbsp black sesame seeds
1 bunch kale (about 3⁄4 lb.), stemmed and finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Whisk together juices, soy sauce, and garlic in a bowl. Slowly whisk in oil. Set aside.
Cut the avocados into 1⁄2″ cubes. Put cubed avocados, half sesame seeds, and kale into a serving bowl. Toss kale mixture with dressing and season generously with salt and pepper.