Shada’s kale salad

My (Julie’s) sister-in-law, Shada, has a kitchen and cookbook collection I covet. Not to mention that she’s also the one who first introduced me to Donna Hay and the Australian cooking magazine, Delicious. Shada is Australian, but perhaps more like a sibling to me than her husband—my brother—when it comes to our love of cooking and food.

Shada made this recipe when I was in town one autumn weekend. Kale has always evaded me as far as recipes were concerned, in that I was rather bored of braising it with some smoked paprika, garlic, etc. This recipe made use of fresh kale, and the resulting salad is so fresh, light, and delicious. Kale—a cooler weather green—is pretty prevalent in Georgia in the fall/winter, and I love serving this salad during that time of year, as it’s almost like a taste of summer.

1 bunch kale washed and tough stems removed
4 radishes, chopped
¾ cup (75 g) sun-dried tomatoes, minced
2 Granny Smith apples, chopped
¾ cup (20 g) flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
¾ cup (12 g) mint, chopped
1 cup (100 g) toasted pecans
~ salt and pepper to taste
½ cup (125 mL) fresh lemon juice
½ cup (125 mL) olive oil

  1. Chop the kale into very small pieces.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients except for the lemon juice and oil in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk together lemon juice and olive oil, then pour over salad and toss (I like to massage it all with my very clean hands).
  4. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Variations—There is no limit to what you can add or subtract from this salad. My sister-in-law served it with some of her homegrown and dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and a few other items. I’ve been meaning to try some chopped up jicama in this, some fresh avocado, or some toasted pine nuts. The other night I used some pears and cucumber, and it was—as expected—really tasty!

Tips & Tricks—If you plan on doing this ahead and having some leftovers, make sure the apple gets doused well in some lemon juice, or else it will brown. Or, you can just leave it out and add at the last minute.