First, this salad is just gorgeous. The dark kale and grapes contrasted with the fuchsia watermelon radishes and the crispy golden nuts is stunning. It would be a perfect addition to any holiday menu on looks alone.
The best part is that it tastes as good as it looks, and the flavors here come together in such a special way— each ingredient is distinct, but work together to make something special. —eat-drink-garden
black Kale (Lacinato Kale); about 24-26 leaves
large watermelon radish or 4 breakfast radishes, thinly sliced and quartered
small shallot, thinly sliced
black grapes, sliced in half
cooked Rancho Gordo Christmas Limas (or other black bean)
dressing (see below)
juice of a 1/2 lemon
fresh squeezed orange juice
fresh lemon juice
fresh thyme leaves (make it a heaping tablespoon)
Remove the ribs of the kale, then wash and chop into a dice. You should have about 4 cups packed.
Thinly slice the watermelon radish and then quarter the slices.
Thinly slice the shallot and place in a bowl of fresh water while you are prepping the rest of the ingredients for the salad. When you are ready to toss the salad, dump the water out and squeeze the excess water out of the shallots. This helps take out the raw taste from the onion.
In a large bowl combine the kale, radishes, shallots, grapes, spiced nuts, beans and ½ cup of the dressing.
Toss the salad. Let the salad sit for a minimum of 30 min before serving so that the kale soaks up the flavor of the dressing.
When just about to serve, squeeze the juice of a half of a lemon over the salad and toss one more time. I know it sounds crazy but just do it. It will really brighten up the flavor of the salad.
I produce the Santa Barbara based blog Eat Drink Garden. The inspiration for every meal, for every cocktail, and for every blog entry is from my garden. I learned a few years ago that if you choose seasonal fruits and vegetables, you don't need to do too much to them in order to make them beautiful and delicious every time.