“I’ve got the salad,” I’ll say. The occasion? It doesn’t really matter.
It’s what I call the perfect dish. It works amazingly well for almost all occasions in life: bringing something to a friend’s house for dinner (people beg for the recipe), making something healthy for the week ahead so that lunch is done (and better than anything you can buy). Or when feeding people at your table who aren’t fully convinced that kale salad is actually an edible thing, let alone enjoyable.
Truthfully, it is hard to find one golden recipe that can cover it all. But when you do, suddenly, you’ve got so much time and ease on your hands. And right in the middle of summer? Take it, my friend. There’s so much more in life this time of year to enjoy!
And out of the thousands of healthy and simple recipes I’ve created over the years, I have to admit, this one, by far, wins for my favorite recipe of all time. Not only does it keep well for up to four days in the fridge, but it’s hearty and filling, too. Using nutritional yeast keeps this pesto recipe dairy free, and adds great flavor with extra B vitamins. This salad is amazing on its own, or as a base for other veggies, nuts, seeds, meat, or seafood of your choice. Rubbing the olive oil and sauce into the kale leaves helps break down the kale’s bitterness, so even if you think you don’t like kale, try this first — it has converted hundreds of people!
The Pesto Kale Salad
(Makes 4 servings)
1½ heads leafy green kale (not lacinato/dinosaur kale)
¾ cup raw cashews
1½ ounces fresh basil leaves, stems removed
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 lemon, juiced
drizzle of olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon pepper
Combine all ingredients except kale in a blender with a small bit of water. Wash kale well, and discard the stems. Tear kale into bite-sized pieces, and place in a large bowl. Dry leaves with a paper towel or clean dish towel. Drizzle with some olive oil, and rub it into the leaves with your hands. Add the pesto and continue to do the same, trying to coat as many crevices in the kale as you can. Best when served cold.