Guys. This salad is insane. Like, batshit. there’s pretty much nothing it can’t do.
It’s got salty pistachios, tart fruit, sweet corn, a spicy chilli-lime dressing, bitter greens, creamy avocado, and briny pickled onions. Basically unstoppable.
Doesn’t hurt that it’s hella pretty either.
When I started this blog, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t post any boring ass salad recipes, only ones that had a bit of substance. This one for sure delivers. Just look at how pretty it is!
It was inspired by a salad I had when I was in Oak City for my brother’s graduation (Well done brah!). They’re pretty big on meat in OKC so I was amazed to see such an interesting salad on the menu – although now I think about it I probably asked them to hold the cheese and add avocado instead, but that sounds like an upgrade to me anyway!
Those bright pink slivers on the top are homemade pickled onions. If you’ve never made them before, do yourself a favour and give them a try. I make them all the time, for salads, to spice up a baked sweet potato, in sandwiches. They’re really awesome, really cheap, really pretty, and real easy.
For this recipe you’d ideally make them ahead. You could buy some from the shop but that’s boring and you won’t find pink ones anywhere. I used Sarah’s recipe from My New Roots but changed it to 1) make more onions (trust me, you’ll want more) and 2) cut out some of the salt and sugar (unnecessary imo). All you do is slice up your onions nice and thin (I cut them in half from top to tail and then sliced them up rainbow style, and then they fall apart into little semi-circles). You just heat your apple cider vinegar in a small pan, add your salt and maple syrup and wait until it’s boiling. Then throw in the onions and turn off the heat and wait until they’re cooled. You can use them straight away if you don’t have time to wait, otherwise put them in a jar and leave them in the fridge overnight.
The base of the salad is Brussels sprouts and kale – I just chopped the tough end piece off of the sprouts and then sliced them real thin. When you separate out the layers, it looks like they’ve been shredded up. Sounds fancy but it’s super easy. Should look like this when you’re done:
Whoah, hold the phone, massage the kale? Dafuq???
Yeah, I know shredding and massaging, I need to cool my jets.
But actually, it’s nbd. Basically, ‘massaging’ just means kinda kneading, or if you’re not a baker, then just scrunching shit up in a bowl. All you do is take a big bowl, fill it with your kale and some dressing and kinda squeeze handfuls at a time, mixing it as you go, for about 5 mins. The kale will start to wilt and turn bright green, this means that you’re breaking down the cell wall of the plant, and the kale will get really tender; it’s way yummier than chewy kale. It turns brighter green because the chlorophyll is busting out of the cells as you break them. BOOM. Science. Looks like this.
What was around 4 cups of kale has pretty much halved in volume. You can go ahead with the recipe at this stage, but if you let it sit for half an hour it’ll get more tender. Your call.
Then, you mix the sprouts, kale, corn, and the rest of the dressing together, put it in a bowl and throw some avocado, chopped pistachios, grapefruit, and your pickled onions on top! Done.
Now, I know that not everyone’s crazy about grapefruit, so you can try blood oranges or mango in it’s place, just don’t leave it out all together a) because the tartness pulls together all the other elements together and 2) aesthetics.
- 2 small red onions, cut in half from top to tail, and then sliced thin, rainbow style
- 1.5 Cups apple cider vinegar
- 1 tspn sea salt
- 1 tspn maple syrup
- 4 tbspn fresh limes juice
- 2 tbspn tahini
- 1 -2 Bird's eye chillies - up to you how hot you can handle
- 1 tspn maple syrup
- Pinch of sea salt
- 4 cups shredded kale (tightly packed)
- ~15 Brussels Sprouts, washed
- 1 cup corn, frozen or fresh, steamed and cooled back to room temp
- 1 grapefruit (or blood orange) peeled, cut into segments, and then cubed
- 1/2 cup pistachios (raw or salted, your call), roughly chopped
- 1/2 Avocado, sliced
- Pickled onions
- Heat the ACV, salt, and maple syrup in a small pan until it comes to a gentle boil and then turn off the heat. Throw the onions in and make sure they're covered with liquid. Let them cool completely before pouring everything in a big jar and storing in the fridge, they'll keep for around 2 weeks.
- Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until really smooth.
- Chop the tough end piece off of the sprouts and then sliced them real thin. When you separate out the layers, it looks like they've been shredded up. Put them in a big bowl with the corn and half of the dressing.
- In another bowl, toss the kale with the rest of the dressing, and massage for 5 mins (this just means toss it around and give it a bit of a squeeze to help tenderise it). Add the kale to the sprouts and corn mixture and gently toss them about to mix.
- Now just put the salad mixture in the bottom of your bowl or plate and divide up the toppings among however many portions you have - should be around 2 main or 4 sides - avocado, grapefruit, pickled onion, and crushed pistachios.
I think this one is a contender for Salad of the Summer. (Can someone look into making that official. Ta.) Try it for yourself and let me know what you think! Don’t forget to tag your posts @laurathomasphd
Off to London this weekend and going to check out Nama, I’ve heard it’s the tits. Anyone been? What should I try? Any other London recs? FUCK YEAH WEEKEND!