I’m always up for something new when it comes to salad. The delicious combinations are limitless of vegetables, fruits, and herbs that work well together. Then there are dressing options from tangy to sweet to spicy to some mixture of one or all.
But don’t stop there. Why not combine crisp, raw vegetables with grilled or roasted vegetables – or fruit if you’re feeling adventurous!
But it wasn’t vegetables or fruits that caught my eye in the Snap Pea Salad with Coconut Gremolata in Bon Appétit magazine, it was the toasted coconut topping. Genius, right?
The coconut works well with this salad’s Thai flare: fresh lime juice and fish sauce in the dressing, and a generous amount of fresh mint. Bon Appétit’s version called for pea tendrils, but since I couldn’t find any, thin strips of Italian kale stood in well.
A couple of notes on assembly:
When you frizzle your shallots, be sure to retain any oil that’s left to include in your dressing.
And remember that raw kale is transformed by a quick salt massage between your fingers. See the before and after pictures below.
Before the massage, kale is fairly tough and potentially difficult to chew.
But a quick salt massage and voilà! The kale is tender and flavorful – perfect for salad.
The fruits and vegetables of spring and summer always inspire me to try new combinations and this was a great place to start!
Snow Pea and Kale Salad with Toasted Coconut and Lime
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 medium shallot sliced into thin rings
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 small bunch Lacinato kale also called Italian kale and Dino kale
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 pound sugar snap peas halved crosswise
- 4 radishes thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves torn into small pieces
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and stir until golden brown and crisp, 5–8 minutes. Transfer shallots to a paper towel and season with kosher salt. Pour any leftover oil into a small bowl; let cool.
Toast coconut in same saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until edges are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Transfer to paper towels and set aside.
Place kale ribbons into a large salad bowl. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of fine sea salt. Massage salt into kale by squeezing it in fistfuls and then rubbing it between your fingers, until it turns a darker shade of green and has a softer texture - just a minute or two. Set aside.
To make the dressing: Add lime juice, fish sauce, chives and lime zest to leftover oil from frying shallots. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and; whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To assemble the salad: Add snap peas and radishes to salad bowl with kale; pour dressing over and toss to coat. Sprinkle toasted coconut, fried shallots and mint leaves over. Serve.