This is called a the angry salad. Why? Well, you get to hack up some sundried tomatoes, you get to use up peaches that are a little under-ripe or sour(because don’t you get angry when you buy bad peaches?! I know I do.), and you massage kale. You know, the way that Muhammad Ali massaged George Foreman’s face.
That kind of massaging.
Beating up the kale is really the key to this recipe – it makes the kale as tender as romaine, while still maintaining its signature minerally taste.
Angry Roasted Peach and Kale Salad
1 head kale, leaves removed and spines discarded
1 peach, diced
10 sundried or oven dried tomatoes, diced
1 large handful basil, chiffonaded
1/4 cup walnut halves (preferably roasted)
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and put the peaches and basil on a tinfoiled baking tray. Put the tray in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the peaches are very soft and the basil is dark and shriveled, but does not taste burned.
3. Now take those kale leaves. Crunch them in your hand. Wring them out like they are the necks of TSA agents who have made you go through separate security screenings because of a button on your jeans. Oh yeah, now you are getting steamed.
Use that anger. Crunch the heck out of those kale leaves. In about 3 minutes, your hands will start to smell like steamed broccoli, and the kale will suddenly give up resistance. It will go from dry and papery to limp somewhat moist. It will turn dark green and shrink considerably in volume.
This salad is extremely multilayered and complex. It is best when made about an hour before eating, because then the dressing saturates the sundried tomatoes, making them juicy and savory. The peaches release their sweet juices, mingling with the acidic, umami-forward dressing. The kale relaxes even more, but – amazingly – does not wilt! It retains its color and crunch even after sitting in the fridge. The walnuts add a luxuriously fatty component and the basil turns sharp and peppery in the oven, contrasting with those sweet, delicious peaches. This is a fabulous salad for a picnic or to take on a road trip because it stands up so well to being made ahead of time. It would be great topped with some poached salmon or fried chicken cutlets.