Tassajara Kale Salad & Esalen Kale Salad: I’ve heard kids will even eat Greens like this!

First off, I LOVE this salad! It is now my favorite way to eat greens.  I’ve made it three times in two weeks.

Feed your kids greens early on as a salad, and it just might stick … so I’ve heard! At least this is what some photographer friends in Santa Cruz told me who recommended the recipe.  They were eating Carob, given to them by their parents, a generation before I was.  Thinking nothing of it, they said, kids like this salad too.  I started laughing, thinking to myself, not a chance I would have been excited about eating greens as a kid unless it was seamlessly slipped-into my Ohio, kid diet as a cold salad that has a bit tougher lettuce and that had no description that it was kale.  I mean, we flipped out when my mom made stuffed peppers for dinner as kids.  A story about a cousin who grew up in California came to mind when thinking about kids eating kale.  This cousin had eaten such healthy, organic food as a kid that when his parents were forced to stop by KFC and get him some fast food one time, he threw up!  Don’t worry, when I moved out to CA, I corrupted him by introducing him to loaded baked potatoes.


In terms of these two variations on the cold kale salad, I would recommend combining aspects of both.  I over salted the Tassajara Kale Salad the first time but liked the fruit aspect, ginger, honey, and lemon dressing in this recipe but would add the sprouts, red onion, and nuts from the Esalen Kale Salad recipe in the future.


For Recipes —->

Tassajara Kale Salad with Radish, Apple, Avocado, & Sunflower Seeds Recipe

from Edward Brown’s The Complete Tassajara Cookbook

  • 12-15 leaves dinosaur kale
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon sea salt (BE CAREFUL WITH SALT – CAN BE TOO SALTY)
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice (one whole lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • Black or red pepper
  • 1 apple, cut into small cubes
  • 6 radishes, rounds
  • 1 avocado, chunks or slices
  • 1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds

* Variations:

  • Oranges or pears, dried apricots, or cranberries instead of apples.
  • Instead of honey: Pomegranate molasses, jams/jellies.
  • In addition to Sunflower seeds: Add toasted pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds.

Rinse off the kale, Cut crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces, including stems if using dinosaur kale. Sprinkle on 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and begin to squeeze the kale and salt vigorously with your hands so that the kale softens and moisture begins to sweat out. Taste it to see if you need any more salt, which you probably will. Massage the kale until it’s moist and tender.

Mix together the lemon juice, honey, and ginger, and combine with the kale. Toss together. Slice up the apple into small chunks, the radish, the avocado, add the roasted sunflower seeds and some pepper–toss it and serve. Amazing!

*to roast sunflower seeds, put into a shallow pan, preheat your oven onto 350 degrees F and bake for 10-15 minutes. For lighter a roast, 10 minutes, for a darker roast, 15 minutes. Enjoy!

Esalen Kale Salad Recipe

from Esalen Cookbook

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1/3 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup flax seed or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium- sized red onion (rings or longer strips)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 lb. fresh kale
  • 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 1/2 cup sunflower sprouts
  • 1 avocado, cut into 1/2″ inch cubes (optional)

* Can also add ¼ cup dried cranberries

Combine the Bragg or soy sauce and lemon juice in a blender or whisk in a bowl. Slowly drizzle in the oil as the blender turns or as you whisk vigorously. Slice the onion into thin half moons and marinate in the dressing as you prepare the rest of the salad.

Toast the seeds in a toaster oven or in a heavy bottomed pan (cast-iron is the best) over medium heat until seeds are just golden and fragrant. Toast each seed type separately as their size requires varying roasting times. Cool to room temperature.

Destem the kale. Slice kale leaves into 1/4 inch ribbons (very important!)

Toss the seeds, spouts, and kale with the onions, and as much dressing as necessary to lightly but completely dress the kale. Thoroughly massage the kale with your hands.

2 comments… add one
  • Situ Link

    I went to the store just to buy kale for this salad! It was wonderful and luckily I had flax seed oil for the dressing, which gave it a nutty flavor. I added a hard boiled egg for protein and made it a complete meal.

  • Adding a hard boiled egg sounds like a really good addition. Thanks for the idea.

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