We wanted a kale salad recipe that was like the one at our favorite Chicago restaurant. This Cabbage and Kale Salad recipe, along with this Thai Peanut Salad Dressing recipe, fit the bill perfectly.
Every once in a while, when we’re in the Chicago area, we stop by one of our favorite restaurants. We always get the same thing: my husband orders a large bowl of the cabbage and kale salad with chicken, and I order their vegetable plate, with a side of their cabbage and kale salad (no chicken). It’s tossed with an amazing Thai peanut dressing. We’ve never had anything like it.
Since we don’t get to the restaurant very often, I began to think about how I could re-create this delicious salad at home.
After getting brave and finally calling the restaurant directly for some tips and secrets, this Cabbage and Kale Salad recipe, along with this Thai Peanut Salad Dressing recipe, fits the bill perfectly. We’ve been enjoying it almost every week this summer.
It’s also easy to add in some bits of shredded chicken for the meat eaters in the family.
One Tip For Preparing a Kale Salad
Raw kale salad can be my nemesis. It’s often too chewy, and even when I try to “massage” the kale like all the experts say to do, I still don’t like the texture. It’s like I’m chewing…and chewing…and chewing.
What makes this recipe work for me is using a food processor. I let my food processor “chew” the kale pretty fine, but not to where it’s mushy. I get all the healthy benefits of kale without the frustration! The one I use is an older Cuisinart food processor, similar to this one.
The Secret Ingredient That Makes The Salad Dressing So Flavorful
This salad isn’t very expensive to make, either. The biggest cost was buying the roasted peanut oil for the dressing (recipe below), but I know I’ll be able to use it for several salads throughout the summer.
It’s like the “secret” ingredient for the salad dressing.
I splurged and bought the Loriva roasted peanut oil since it was what my local store had in stock, but you can get other brands for less money on Amazon if you plan ahead, like this one by 365 (the Whole Foods “store brand”). Check the price here.
If you like a sweeter salad dressing, you can also add a tablespoon of sugar when you’re whisking the dressing together.
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Cabbage and Kale Salad Recipe
- 3 large curly kale leaves
- 1/4 head of green cabbage
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 3 scallions, sliced
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, finely chopped
Remove the large center “vein” from the kale leaves. Pulse the leaves in a food processor until they are chopped fine, but not mush.
Roughly chop the cabbage and place in the food processor. Pulse until chopped fine, again being careful not to overdo it.
Combine the cabbage and kale in a large bowl, then stir to combine. Let sit for a minute or two.
Add the cilantro, scallions, and peanuts, then stir again.
Toss well with the Thai Peanut Salad Dressing.
Thai Peanut Salad Dressing Recipe
- 1/2 cup roasted peanut oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
Whisk all ingredients together until well combined.
Drizzle over salad. Season with salt, if desired.
Do you have a favorite kale salad recipe? Have you ever tried something like the Thai peanut salad dressing recipe?
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