World's Fussiest Salad (But Worth It)
1 bunch curly kale--sliced thinly
1/2 head red cabbage--sliced thinly
1 red pepper--julienne (bust out those knife skills!)
1 cup cooked and cooled wild rice
1 pint strawberries--sliced
First, blanch the kale. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then remove from heat. Add kale to the water for a minute or two. The amount of time the kale needs to spend in the water depends entirely on the tenderness of the leaves. If the kale gods were smiling down on you when you selected that particular bunch, the kale may need only a quick dip in the water to soften it slightly and brighten it to that lovely shade of green. If the kale gods were off smiling down on someone else while you were selecting your bunch, the leaves may need to stay in rather longer. Just check the leaves frequently. When they reach the desired level of tenderness, dump them into a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Allow the kale to cool a bit, then combine kale, cabbage, red pepper, rice, mango and strawberries in a large bowl and toss to combine.
Citrusy Garlic Vinaigrette
1 head garlic--roasted
2 valencia oranges
1/3 c olive oil
1 t whole black peppercorns
Squeeze roasted garlic into a blender. Yes, the whole head. Don't be such a wimp. Press the juice out of the lemon and oranges and add that to the blender. Add salt. Puree until smooth. With the blender running, add the olive oil in a thin stream. Toss in peppercorns and blend again. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
2 T vegan margarine
1 t chili powder
1 1/2 c whole raw walnuts
In a small frying pan, melt margarine. Add chili powder and stir well to combine. Add walnuts and stir to coat. Toast on low heat until walnuts start to brown. Cool thoroughly.
Pour vinaigrette over the assembled salad and let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Before serving, sprinkle liberally with spiced walnuts.