Last week, we ate dinner at The Stone Fox, an interesting little place nearby that is part music venue, part hipster bar and part restaurant. The menu is varied and includes quite a nice selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free cuisine. Not something you’d normally expect at a bar. One of my favorite items is the jackfruit sliders; I like it so much that I wrote about it for the recent 25 Great Sandwiches feature in The City Paper.
On our last visit, though, I wanted to branch out. Instead of my usual, I ordered the “Marrakesh Express Kale and Quinoa Salad.” I liked it so much (and so did Mr. Eats!) that I just had to figure out how to make it at home. So I set up my experiment kitchen this weekend and got to work. This recipe isn’t quite the same, but it’s pretty close and, more importantly, it’s really good. And not only vegan, but gluten-free as long as you use gluten-free tamari (I use the San-J brand). And if you aren’t a fan of quinoa or haven’t had much luck finding it, you can easily substitute brown or wild rice or even pearl or regular couscous (though that’s not GF).
Kale Salad with Lemon Tamari Dressing
serves 6-8 as a side dish
1/3 cup lemon juice (from one large lemon)
3 tablespoons tahini
1 1/2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
8 ounces (by weight) or about 6 cups of coarsely chopped kale (no stems)
1/3 cup diced onion (about half a medium onion)
1/2 cup matchsticked carrots
optional: 1/2 cup bell peppers
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup cooked quinoa flavored with vegetable broth*
Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a medium bowl and whisk vigorously to combine. Set aside.
In a large bowl, massage the kale by rubbing between your fingers to break up the cells while ripping it into bite-size pieces. Remove any large pieces of stem and discard.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and add the onion and carrots (and bell peppers, if included). Saute lightly until onions are transluscent. When finished, add the onions and carrots to the bowl of kale.
Add the raisins and cooked quinoa and stir to mix. Then pour in the salad dressing and toss to coat completely.
Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator. Optional: If refrigerated, microwave the salad for 10-15 seconds—just long enough to take the chill off. I prefer it this way, but it good chilled as well.
*Cook your quinoa with vegetable broth either in a rice cooker or steamer (I use a rice steamer) or according to the directions from this quinoa salad recipe. You’ll have about 2 cups left over to serve on top of your kale salad to make it an entrée!
As for the tahini, it’s just sesame seed paste. You should be able to find it at any international grocery or in the international aisle of your local market.
Another helpful hint I learned from a friend recently: microwave your lemon for just a bit before juicing it to get a higher yield!