My friend, Geri, brought me the fixins’ for this salad a few months back because she had picked some fresh kale out of her garden that morning. It blew my mind. It’s one of those dishes that each ingredient is independently delicious, but together it’s even better than the sum of its parts. I’ll do my best to be precise, but from what I understand this recipe has evolved like a game of ‘whisper down the alley’ among a group of Santa Fe friends. No one follows a specific recipe so we all have our favorite variations. But the one I’m posting is Geri’s favorite. (Another friend, Allyn, adds shredded carrots to hers.) I actually like it without the fruit and cheese, but honestly I eat it differently almost every time I make it. Here goes.
- 3 cups cooked quinoa (nice and fluffy)
- 2 cups kale, shredded/chopped into small pieces
- 1 mango, peeled and diced
- handful of fresh, chopped herbs (mint, dill, chives, basil – whatever you have)
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup of crumbled feta (add as much as you like)
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 TBSP agave nectar, honey, pure maple syrup
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Add quinoa, kale, mango, fresh herbs, scallions and feta to a large mixing bowl. Shake all dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid. Drizzle the dressing into the salad a bit at a time until it’s to your liking. Add salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
NOTE: When I make this salad, I add a little feta each time I dish it out, rather than in the bowl. The feta taste seems to take over the freshness of the salad as it sits in the fridge. Don’t worry if you don’t eat it all in one sitting – this is even better the next day! And I hear it’s great with blueberries instead of mango. Enjoy!