We celebrated Memorial Day by going out to dinner Sunday night and on Monday we just weren’t in the mood to cook, grill over a hot coal fire or make anything that took too much time for our Memorial dinner at home. David voted for a sandwich and I honestly had no idea what to make, except I knew one thing–it needed to be cold.
In the morning, we ventured off to Central Market hoping for a little inspiration. And that was just what we got.
When I asked Sharon (a foodie) what she was sampling, she replied, “grilled sausages from a box and kale salad.”
“Grilled sausages from a what?” I asked.
“A box,” she answered. She knows me well enough to know what I meant by that inquiry.
While that did not interest me in the least, I definitely wanted to try the kale salad. Cooked or raw, kale is a favorite vegetable.
It was four years ago when I vacationed in Aspen with a few friends and I had the most amazing kale salad at Lulu Wilson’s. I returned home and perfected the recipe and later shared it here with you.
We ate so much kale salad that summer, I haven’t made it much since then though the kale salad they made at Central Market is strikingly similar in concept to the Lulu Wilson version. It had nuts for crunch (Spanish Marcona almonds), fruit (mango or cherries) for a sweet flavor, onion for added texture and a touch of earthiness and a special bottled dressing.
It was so good, I asked Sharon for another sample. And then I knew what I was having for dinner. Kale salad al estilo (in the style of) Central Market. Two servings.
Thanks, Central Market, I needed that.
Kale Salad with Marcona Almonds and Mango
This kale salad is unlike any others because it marinates for hours or overnight and softens the kale. The sweetness of the mango makes it feel tropical. Two reasons even those who dismiss kale will fall for this version.
- 1 bundle of fresh Lacinto kale washed, dried, de-stemmed and thinly sliced (chiffonaded)
- 1 fresh mango chopped
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced 1015 or red onion
- 1/2 cup of Spanish Marcona almonds chopped
- Dash of Kosher salt to taste
- 1/4 cup Marston's San Pasqual dressing plus another little drizzle if needed
- Reserve a few whole Marcona almonds to sprinkle over the salad as garnish
To de-stem the kale, using your finger and thumb, carefully pull the kale away from the stem and place the kale in a salad spinner. Once you have removed all of the stems from the kale, wash and dry it in the salad spinner.
Now you will want to gather about 5 pieces of kale, placing each piece on top of the next and roll it up like a cigar so you can cut it into thin strips, known as chiffonade.
Place the thin strips of kale in a big bowl. Top with chopped Marcona almonds, diced mango, sliced onions and a dash of salt.
Shake the bottle of Marston's dressing well and add 1/4 cup over the top of the salad. Toss well to combine.
Cover the salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, though overnight is best.
After an hour or, if you let it sit overnight--the next day, check the salad and see if it is wet enough. At this time, you can drizzle another tablespoon (or two) of the dressing and toss again to combine.
Plate the salad, sprinkle each serving with a few whole Marcona almonds and serve.