Kale Salad with Pear and Coconut Clusters
After coming home from my trip last week, I realized that I missed Hamilton. Spending the majority of my time lately in the city that I’ve lived near, but not in, all my life has led me to develop some unexpected ties. I love passing through the same parking lot, across from the lawyer’s office and past the taco restaurant on my way to work. I love Friday mornings, walking down James Street to my favourite sunlit café for a tea before my shift. I love discovering new places with friends after work. It’s a small city, dwarfed by the giant that is Toronto, and better for it. Hamilton doesn't try to be anything that it’s not, it simply is.
Fall is here: it’s chilly and rainy and I love it. Yesterday morning I went to one of the season’s last outdoor farmers markets. I picked up a few bunches of kale and talked to some cheery farmers. This never fails to make me happy: supporting local producers is something that I’ll always get behind. At home the kale quickly became a base for this salad, along with addictively tasty coconut clusters, radishes and pears that we picked a week ago, et voila!
Kale Salad with Pear and Coconut Flakes
1 large bunch kale, stems removed, rinsed and dried
2 pears, sliced into matchsticks
1 batch coconut clusters (recipe below)
2 large or 3 small radishes, thinly shaved
3 tbsp tahini
1 tsp maple syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
salt + pepper
Make the dressing: add tahini, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar/lemon juice and a pinch of salt and pepper to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Then, whisk in water 1 tablespoon at a time until lighter in colour and pourable.
Place rinsed and dried kale in a large bowl, and pour dressing evenly over top. Using your hands, massage the dressing into the kale until evenly coated. Transfer the kale to a serving bowl and top with the pear, radishes, coconut clusters and more salt and pepper to taste.
1 cup coconut flakes
1/4 cup pepita seeds
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp neutral oil (like light olive oil, vegetable oil, avocado oil etc)
1/4 tsp salt
To make the coconut clusters, mix maple syrup, oil and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir in the coconut flakes and pepita seeds to coat, then spread into a single layer on a parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes until the coconut begins to take on some colour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.