Pistachio & Fennel Kale Salad

 

Get excited, the next installment in Brooke and Maxxs Culinary Crafts.  This is, hands down, the best salad I have ever eaten.  Yes, ever.  Incredible.  Be careful, after trying it once, you’ll be hooked.  Speaking of which, a grocery store run will be made in the next few days so I can snag the ingredients myself and make it yet again.  While it may sound plain, being a salad and all, this one is anything but.  Packed with flavor (garlic, a bit of oil, nuttiness, man oh man), this recipe is sure to become a fast favorite.

Onto the rest of the entry, as told by Maxx:

If I told you that this kale salad was borne from a five-destination dessert tour, would you believe me?  Indeed, the fifth and final stop, at Alden & Harlow in Cambridge’s Harvard Square, featured their “Ubiquitous Kale Salad”, with creamy pistachio dressing, fennel, and honey.  After vegan ice cream at FoMu, a powdery puff of donut filled with whipped chocolate cream at Blackbird, warm berry bread pudding at Flour, and cannoli from Bovas, Maxx insisted on a clean dish or two before proceeding with the final chapter of the dessert binge.  Brooke, on the other hand, wanted to see the dessert menu before the waiter could even discuss the main menu or take our drink order.  Ultimately though, she couldn’t deny the deliciousness of the salad, fresh and satisfying, finding herself dreaming about it long after tasting.

Hence, we had to attempt to recreate it.  Here’s what we did (Maxx being the main executer behind such):

Ingredients
3 cups chopped kale

1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced

1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts

2 cloves garlic

1 lemon, juiced, plus 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 cup hot water

1/2 cup grape seed oil, perhaps more for proper consistency

2 tablespoons of honey

Salt and pepper to taste

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1) Prepare the fennel.  Cut in half once, then slice thinly with a sharp knife.
2) Chop the kale (or, buy pre-washed, chopped kale from the grocery. I chopped it further, to match A&H’s kale).
3) Toast the pistachios.  Spread in a sheet pan and roast for 6-8 minutes at 400 degrees F.
4) In a food processor or blender, combine the garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice and zest, honey, pistachios, and 1/3 cup of the oil.  Blend, adding more oil until achieving a creamy consistency.
5) Combine the kale, fennel, and dressing, and toss.
6) Serve with chopped pistachios.

Refrigerate leftovers but use them quickly, within a day.

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