SEEDED KALE SALAD W/Toasted Millet, Popped Amaranth, Quinoa, Sesame and Ginger Jalapeno Dressing
For the Salad:
2 bunches Lacinato Kale washed and stemmed
½ cup Amaranth Seeds
2/3 cup Millet
2 tsp salt
2 Starkrimson Pears
2/3 Cup Quinoa
1 ¼ cup water
1/3 cup Toasted Sesame Seed
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch Radish (or 1 large Daikon)
1 bunch Scallion
For the Dressing:
1 cup Sesame Oil
1 tbsp Tamari
½ cup Candied Ginger
1 ¾ cup hot water
1 tsp Salt
4 tbsp Rice Vinegar
7 tbsp Lime Juice
¼ tsp Sweet paprika
1 grated Lime Zest
1 tsp mustard powder
1 Jalapeno seeded and diced (include seeds prefer more heat)
To make the Dressing
Place the candied ginger in a small bowl or measuring cup, pour the hot water on the ginger to hydrate it and cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes until hydrated and soft.
In a food processor or ideally a mixer, combine tamari, rice vinegar, lime juice, paprika, mustard, salt and sesame oil. Pulse until blended.
Remove ginger from water. Set aside and save the water for later.
Add ginger and jalapeno to liquid mixture and emulsify until smooth and creamy. The dressing is somewhat thick but shouldn’t be too heavy.
To make the Grains
Place millet in a heavy sauce pan with 1 tsp salt. Set on burner and place on lowest heat possible. The millet should be stirred or shaken in at least 5 minute stages until it obtains a golden toasted tint. Once it is evenly toasted, pour the saved ginger water into the pot. Be careful. It will bubble and splash. Stir, cover and continue to simmer for 30 minutes stirring a few times to make sure it is evenly hydrated. Let cool while covered. The millet should have a crunch.
Rinse quinoa well in a sieve under cold water. Boil 1 ¼ cup water in small sauce pan. Add quinoa, 1 tsp salt, rice vinegar and olive oil. Stir well as it reaches another boil, then cover and reduce to lowest heat to simmer for about 17 minutes. Dump quinoa into a bowl or onto a glass casserole dish so you can spread it out evenly with a spatula and allow it to release steam and cool. It should have a very firm, yet moist and spongy texture.
The Amaranth should be popped similar to how one would pop popcorn, but without oil. Use a pot with a thicker bottom and one that has a tight fitting lid (if you have a wok…even better). Place the pot on your burner with lid on a med-high heat level. Allow a few minutes for the pot to become hot. The popping should be done in stages. Keep the raw amaranth in a small bowl close to the pot. Keep another empty bowl next to the pot for the popped amaranth. With a tablespoon measure, add one spoon to the hot pot and cover the lid and shake the pot back and forth vigorously (otherwise it will burn) until all the seeds have popped. Quickly dump the popped amaranth into the bowl and continue tbsp by tbsp until all seeds are popped. Should you burn a few, they are easy to separate with a fine metal sieve.
For the rest
Layer 5 leaves of Kale evenly on top of each other. Role them as you would a cigar and slice them from one side to the other into thin ribbons. Continue until all is cut and place in large mixing bowl.
Thinly slice the scallions (including the whites) and add to bowl.
The radishes can be thinly sliced on a mandolin, or with a knife. If you are using daikon, you can also cut them into small 1/4 inch cubes. Add to bowl but set aside portions of radish to garnish salads.
The pears should be cut into ¼ inch cubes (or larger if you prefer) just before you are about to serve. Once they are added to the bowl, you can add ½ of the dressing.
Mix the salad using your hands. You may have to toss it around with your hands to make sure the ingredients are distributed evenly.
You can then add the grains and seeds and mix once again, making sure all is evenly distributed.
This salad is very nice served with broiled shrimp, seared scallops or fish.
You can easily substitute the oil for olive oil and serve it with a nice country ham, bresaola or pancetta. Blue Cheese or Roquefort is also a nice variation.
It also happens to be a gluten free salad.