You Thought You Didn’t Need Another Kale Salad. But This One Has Potato Chips

Joe Sevier
·3 min read

This is Dinner and Change, a column about recipes that feed four people for about $10—or less.

I sort of thought the book on kale salad had been written. I never imagined that when thumbing through Cook Real Hawai’i, a gorgeous new cookbook by Top Chef alum Sheldon Simeon, I would be drawn in, once again, by those dark leafy greens.

Was it the combo of kale and cabbage? The dark, soft, massaged kale greens tangle with crunchy, pale green slivers of cabbage. I do love a salad with a multiple-greens personality.

Cook Real Hawai'i by Sheldon Simeon

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Was it the kim chee nuts? In Simeon’s recipe, you toss peanuts with Korean chile flakes and earthy-spicy gochujang—plus sugar and garlic salt—in a nod to kim chee (the Hawai’ian spelling for kimchi). The mixture is baked until the glaze forms a spicy-and-sweet shellac on the roasted nuts. They are fantastic on the salad and also something I definitely want to have in my snacktime back pocket.

Maybe it was the Sweet Onion Dressing, which is made fully in a blender. Toss in cider vinegar, celery salt, Dijon mustard, some granulated sugar, and a whole, raw sweet onion (quartered and peeled) and purée. Then drizzle in oil to emulsify. So easy, and it makes extra—plus pulverizing a whole fruit or vegetable into a dressing is always a fun move.

I guess it could have been the dried cranberries, which add a pop of tang and a bit of chew into every bite.

What really drew me in, though? My money’s on the potato chips. Instead of croutons or fried shallots or some other crunchy something, Simeon tosses crushed potato chips into the salad for a salty, big-textured contrast. He recommends Sweet Maui Onion–flavored chips, which, fair enough—I’ve had them and they’re delicious. But if you can’t find those chips on the day you make this salad, never fear. Salt and pepper kettle-cooked chips are also a solid choice.

Another bonus: This kale salad easily goes from indoors to out. As the weather warms up, I cannot properly express how excited I am at the prospect of leaving my apartment—after a year of basically never leaving my apartment—to eat something in a park or on a beach. When I do, I know that the duo of greens will only get better as they sit in the piquant dressing. (Love that about kale and cabbage.) I’ll bring the spicy-sweet roasted nuts and the bag of chips on the side, ready to toss in the moment we find the right socially distanced location to relax and drink in the fresh air. Maybe I’ll bulk it out with some leftover shredded chicken or crumbled tofu, but really, it’s kind of perfect just as it is.

Maui Kale Salad With Sweet Onion Dressing

Sheldon Simeon

The Breakdown

Kale: $1.78, Cabbage: $0.87, Dried Cranberries: $0.60, Potato Chips: $0.93, Apple Cider Vinegar: $0.02, Sugar: $1.48, Sweet Onion: $0.13, Celery Salt: $0.03, Dijon mustard: $.0.02, Oil: $0.09, Gochujang: $0.09, Gochugaru: $0.03, Garlic Salt: $0.01, Raw Peanuts: $0.55. Total: $6.54 ($1.64 per serving).

Use It Up

The salad recipe only uses up about a quarter of the dressing recipe and a little less than half of the peanuts. Choose to make a whole batch of each and it bumps the total up a bit, but you’ll also have about 1½ cups of dressing leftover to use for potato salad, grain salad, or marinating something for the grill. The extra peanuts make a great cocktail snack. You’ll also have half a head of cabbage to use up—toss it onto the grill too. The gochujang, dried cranberries, and Dijon mustard are all wonderful pantry items to keep on hand.

Originally Appeared on Epicurious