Kale is usually thought of as a green for cooking, but in this recipe, it's used as a salad green, one with a lot more texture than lettuce. Its hardiness means that the leaves won't wilt after the salad is dressed. Kale's pleasant bitterness is nicely balanced by the sweetness of the blueberries and the tartness of the pomegranate seeds. This salad is rich in brain-boosting foods: kale is an excellent source of flavonoids and vitamin C, blueberries are high in antioxidants, and pomegranates provide a great source of resveratrol.
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3 bunches kale, stemmed and chopped
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 Tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup Soy-Sesame Vinaigrette (recipe below)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp peeled, chopped fresh ginger
2 Tbsp chopped garlic
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup mirin
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp water
At a glance:
To make salad:
Combine the kale, blueberries, carrots, pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and mint in a medium bowl and toss well. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and toss again. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve right away.
To make Soy-Sesame Vinaigrette:
1. Combine the ginger, garlic, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, and peanut oil in a blender and puree until creamy. Pour the mixture into a medium sauté pan and cook, stirring, over low heat until aromatic and golden in color, about 6 minutes.
2. Add the vinegar, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar to the sauté pan. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water, and then stir the cornstarch slurry into the contents of the pan. Set the pan over low heat and bring the mixture to a boil to thicken, stirring to dissolve the sugar, about 2 minutes.
3. Transfer the dressing to a bowl and let cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Reprinted with permission from The Alzheimer’s Prevention Cookbook: Recipes to Boost Brain Health by Dr. Marwan Sabbagh and Beau MacMillan, copyright © 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group. Photo credit: Caren Alpert.