I often make a tub of this salad for myself and eat over five days or so. It refrigerates well and keeps better than most green salads.
- 3/4 cup light olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 6 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons red chili flakes (or more/less to taste)
- Juice of 2 limes
- 6 fat cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 bunch of kale, torn up into bit-size pieces, stems discarded (“A bunch” varies, but you can get away with 5 oz of kale to almost 1 lb of kale. I usually use about 5-6 oz.)
- 1/2 half onion, sliced (red, yellow, doesn’t matter, but use something with some heat)
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1/2 cup corn
- 1 bunch of green onions, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup roasted and shelled pumpkin seeds (sunflower seeds, chopped pecans/walnuts/cashews/peanuts all work well)
- 10 oz frozen or fresh mangos, cubed (frozen is easier and totally fine for this salad)
- 1 cup shelled edamame (frozen is cool)
- Cook the quinoa according to package directions. 1 cup of dried quinoa should be rinsed before being simmered with 2 cups of water for about 20 minutes. It’s okay to slightly undercook the quinoa (15 minutes or hold back on a little water) because it will absorb the dressing and add chewy texture. It will yield about 3 cups cooked quinoa. Let the quinoa cool before adding to salad.
- Basically, combine all ingredients in your salad bowl and whisk with a fork or a whisk to combine. Taste and adjust based on your preference.
- It’s best to slice onions first and put them in the dressing, letting them chillax as you chop up/prepare the rest of the salad ingredients. It’s good to do with this the onions first, letting the dressing absorb the onioniness and letting the onions mellow and break down in the acid of the dressing. It’s like a quick pickle for the onions.
- Add in kale and toss thoroughly to coat. No massaging needed. But I mean, you can if you want.
- Toss in rest of the ingredients, including cooled quinoa. Mango doesn’t have to be defrosted much. Combine well and serve
I’ve been told the dressing in this salad is very similar in taste to nuoc cham (Vietnamese fish sauce dipping sauce). It’s tangy, sweet, salty, and has a bit of heat from the chili pepper. The bonus is that there’s no actual fish sauce in it, so vegan.
Of course, you can sub in fish sauce for the kosher salt and like, ruin it for all your vegan friends. Bwahaha.
The mango is a pretty important component in this salad because it lends that much needed sweetness against the onslaught of onion and garlic. Don’t omit.
That said, this is a super versatile salad and I swap out ingredients all the time. I’ve made this with cooked black beans, other kinds of nuts, couscous (will not store as long as quinoa, though) and other veggies.