Esalen Kale Salad

I was first introduced to this recipe when my friend and fellow massage therapist Mary Elliott made it for me. I loved it so much that I immediately found it on the internet. The recipe originally comes from the Esalen Cookbook, a collection of recipes from the Esalen kitchen.

Serves 4 to 6

1/3 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari soy sauce

1/3 cup lemon juice (I love using Meyer lemons)

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 medium red onion

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1    pound fresh kale (I much prefer using Tuscan Kale, also known as Cavalo Nero)

The recipe also calls for 1/2 cup sunflower sprouts  and 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts. I have never been inspired to add these myself.

Combine the Bragg or soy sauce and lemon juice in a blender or whisk in a bowl.  Slowly dribble in the oil as the blender turns or as you whisk vigorously.  Slice the onion into half moons and  marinate in the dressing as you prepare the rest of the salad.

Toast the seeds in a heavy bottomed pan (cast-iron is the best) over medium heat until seeds are just golden and fragrant.  Toast each seed type separately as their size requires varying roasting times.  Cool to room temperature.

Destem the kale.  Slice kale leaves into 1/4 inch ribbons (very important!)

Toss the seeds, spouts, and kale with the onions, and as much dressing as necessary to lightly but completely dress the kale.  Thoroughly massage the kale with your hands.

The salad keeps well for a day or two, and I like adding some cucumber and/or avocado to stretch it and change it up a bit.

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