Saturday, September 1, 2012

Kickin' It: Kale Slaw with Peanut Dressing

So I did something weird and wacky the other day (I know, what else is new?).  I lifted myself high out of my rock solid comfort zone and put myself out there.  Like appearing-on-your-TV-set out there.  I told you it was crazy.  Here's the scoop - a few weeks ago I was contacted by one of the production assistants for the Marilyn Denis Show, letting me know that they are holding auditions for a food expert on her show.  Have you considered applying, he said?  Sure as hell not, I thought.  But then again, why not?  Lord knows cooking pro the last 13 years has racked up loads of experience and knowledge and I pretty much think about food constantly and love it passionately.  And maybe just maybe I'm ready for my culinary career to careen down a new path.  And really, there's nothing to lose; you never know would could happen.  And I like that.  

My video guy came over early on Monday morning, when the light was bright and the birds were chirping and it was one of those lovely late summer days you want to last forever.  In my head I knew what I wanted to say, but Nervous Nelly kinda kicked my butt a bit and I wasn't as easy breezy as I wanted to be.  But this is my first kick at the can so I'll cut myself some slack already.  But holy cow my video dude Roshan shot it really well, his first time shooting food or cooking segments if you believe it.  We had a great time that morning, and who knows, maybe more food vids will appear in this space.  Practice makes perfect, right?

My performance is what it is, but the really shining star is this kale slaw.  I kind of love it to bits right now.  If the evil flea beetles wouldn't have decimated my crop, I would have gathered the kale from my garden, but the farmer's market is bursting with the darling green.  Remove the tough ribs and save for later use (veggie stock!).  Slice it super thin, along with some peppers and carrots.  Mint and basil are best friends in this salad, and really give it life.  You could add purple cabbage or red onion or any other veg you love and make it slawtastic.  Not a word, but I like it.

Peanut dressing.  You need it in your life.  Roasted peanuts, rice vinegar, a bit of oil and sugar all blended to bits with the right amount of heat from red pepper flakes.  Just drizzle and toss and garnish with more roasted peanuts and pea shoots.  Let it stand for a few minutes before munching down, so the kale has time to soften and the flavours marry.  Like Brad and Angelina and Jen and What's His Name.  

Maybe this video won't make me a TV star, in fact I know Nigella Lawson does not have to worry about her day job, but putting myself out there was a good thing.  I will never throw myself from an airplane or bungee jump off a cliff or swim with sharks.   But talk about food on TV.  I could do that. I could talk about food anywhere, anytime.  Just tell me the time and place.  I'll bring the kale.

Kale Slaw with Peanut Sauce

Watch the salad being made!

2 bunches of kale, about 2 pounds
2 red or orange peppers, cut into fine strips
1 large carrot, peeled and shaved with your peeler
1 large handful mint, chopped
1 large handful basil, chopped
3/4 cup roasted, salted peanuts, divided
1/3 cup vegetable or canola, or grapeseed oil
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
pea shoots, to garnish (optional)

Slice the centre rib out of the kale leaves and set aside for another use.  Roll a stack of leaves and slice into fine ribbons.  You want about 10 cups of finely chopped kale.  Wash and rinse well in a salad spinner.  In a large bowl, toss kale with rest of veg and herbs.  To make dressing:  In food processor put 1/4 cup peanuts, oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper flakes.  Process until smooth, but yet with peanut chunks.  Drizzle over slaw and toss well.  Garnish with rest of roasted peanut and pea shoots.   Serves 4-6.  Adapted from The Kitchn


  1. Great job! You look fantastic and so does this salad. Good luck - brave girl :)

  2. I'm crossing my fingers for you! You'd be terrific on TV. And that is one bad ass looking kale salad!

  3. Hey, good for you!! I watched it and you look great! I hope you get it. Thanks for this salad recipe too, it looks delish.

  4. I think you did a great job! Being filmed is very intimidating. I hope you get the gig! Also the salad looks amazing. :)

  5. Great job! It is so hard multitasking on camera and it did come across as easy-breezy. Great audition and good luck! Can't wait to make this slaw.

    Side note: I live right across the street from the Marylin Dennis studio so if you do come to TO I have a lot of local-food eateries and markets to recommend. I would also invite you to come cook for us haha!

  6. good for you, i've got my fingers crossed for ya :) now that i'm watching daytime tv more often, it would be great to see you on there!

  7. Thanks everyone SO MUCH!!! Your words of encouragement make me totally happy. Micki - that's hilarious. I would totally take you up on that :)

  8. Renee, So fun to see your video! We all got to peek behinds the scenes at you cooking it up in your home kitchen - love it.

  9. Amazing, I went to a potluck at our CSA farm this weekend and someone made something similar and it was fantastic. I am betting that your dressing is even better- I can't wait to make this!

  10. You are fantastic! Renee, you looked so pretty and you were very genuine and likable in that video. Do you remember those videos I used to do for la Domestique? I would totally get nervous and it was very challenging. Great job!

  11. Yay good for your for putting yourself out there and trying something new. You really have nothing to lose!

    I agree that we all need peanut sauce in our lives :)

  12. Thank you SO much Erin - it was cool letting you guys see me in action in the little green kitchen :) Amy, the dressing makes the salad - enjoy! Jess, thank you kindly. I'll have to hit the archives for your videos :) Stephanie, thank you!

  13. These forks look so beautiful, may I ask from where you got them? Thank you so much!

  14. I got the forks at Target - I love them too!

    1. thank you! they look just gorgeous :)

  15. LOVE the idea of peanut sauce on a kale salad! and love the video - you did great!!

  16. Aw, thanks Julie. I was nervous! Can't wait to make this salad again with fresh goodies from the garden.

  17. The bitter kale/savoury peanut flavour combo can't be beat. Looking forward to trying this


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