We love kale, passionately. It's almost the only bright spot of green in the winter, and we're gearing up to eat a lot of it this year! Well, we just found the absolutely best way to eat kale all winter long: a crunchy, salty, slightly sweet slaw, with peanuts and cider vinegar. It's kale heaven!
We discovered this recipe via a recent kitchen tour; Steve mentioned that he was cooking kale slaw this week. We were interested and went poking around for the recipe. Well, it's originally from Martha Stewart, and that version is a gorgeous mess of kale, red and yellow pepper, and chopped carrots — all tossed with salted peanuts and a salty sweet dressing.
We ate this for three days straight, and then we went back in for more.
We did want to adjust the recipe a little bit, though; it felt too heavy on the dressing, and we tweaked the textures too. Here's the recipe we ended up with: a completely addictive kale slaw, and the right thing to carry us through our salad cravings this fall and winter.
Kale Slaw with Peanut Dressing
2 large bunches curly or lacinato kale, about 2 pounds
2 red bell peppers, cleaned and cut into fine strips
1 large carrot, peeled
3/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts, divided
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon packed light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
Fold each leaf of kale in half lengthwise and slice out the center rib. Discard ribs. Roll a stack of the leaves up and slice in half lengthwise, then crosswise into very fine ribbons. You will have 10 to 12 cups of finely chopped kale in the end. Wash and rinse thoroughly in a salad spinner.
Toss the kale with the sliced bell peppers. Slice the carrot very thin, either by creating curls with a peeler, or by running the halved carrot lengthwise down a mandoline. Toss with the kale, red pepper, and 1/2 cup of the peanuts.
In a chopper or small food processor, briefly puree the remaining 1/4 cup peanuts, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper flakes. Pulse it just a few times; the peanuts should be partially pureed, but with some nibs and nubs still left in the dressing. (The texture difference between the whole peanuts, ground peanuts, and pureed peanuts in the sauce is one of the things that makes this slaw so wonderful.)
Toss the dressing with the slaw and let it sit for at least a few minutes before serving.
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living, August 2009
Related: Recipe: Crunchy Peanut Slaw
(Images: Faith Durand)