Don’t look at me like that. There’s no need for sceptical looks and raised eyebrows. And hey, you in the back there! Yes, you, hiding behind the famous food blogger from Sydney. Close your mouth. Are you trying to swallow a fly?
I know it’s hard to believe, but you needn’t act quite so incredulous. Is it really such a stretch to conceive that I occasionally cook and eat foods that aren’t comprised of a) cocoa butter, b) peanut butter, or c) a combination of cocoa butter and peanut butter? Really, my fabulous readers, you should try to be a bit more open-minded. No one likes a Cynical Cindy.
Bright and early last Saturday morning, I bounced out of bed so that I could join my housemate in a foray to Canberra’s farmers market. Having never been before, I was filled to the brim with elation at my Ethical Local Supportiveness and my Early Morning Dedication and my Budget Consciousness.
One day, I’d love to photograph and showcase these markets in detail. There really was an amazing range of not only fruits, veggies, and flowers, but breads and cakes and fudge and chocolate and macarons and pies and pickles and pizzas and pastries and so on and so forth. (One of those was a lie. A hint: it was the pickles. I wish the markets sold pickles, though. I could even go a pickle right now. [It’s 11pm.])
There was one moment at the markets where I showed my true food-lovin’ self. It was when I spotted a bunch of kale and, while clapping my hands in glee, called out “I found kale! I found kale!” to my housemate. (She’s used to me by now.)
I pounced on said kale without a moment’s thought. It wasn’t until we got home that I started to laugh at myself. Trust me to go to the markets with Budget Consciousness in mind and end up buying the most expensive produce there. Still, it was worth it.
I was originally going to make the kale chips that have taken the (American) blog world by storm, but then I figured that if I made chips I’d eat the entire bunch in one go, whereas if I made something else with the kale, then the bunch would last longer.
This ended up being a moot point, as the salad I made was so divinely good that I ate it all at once. (It was meant to serve four.) But as I ate it with a super-duper heavy dense rye sourdough roll, I figure it was a Pretty Darn Acceptable and Healthy Meal.
Kale and Seaweed Salad of Scrumptiousness
• 10g arame
• 1 bunch of kale, large stems removed, washed and dried (for me, this was about 180g, but I have no idea what a standard bunch of kale weighs)
• 1 tb soy sauce
• 1 tb rice wine vinegar
• ½-1 tb sesame oil, depending on how much you love sesame oil
• 1 clove garlic, crushed
• 1-2 tsps freshly minced garlic
• couple of pinches of chilli flakes (optional, but for me dinner isn’t dinner without chilli)
1. Place arame in a large bowl (arame expands a fair amount) and cover with hot water. Soak for 15-20 minutes, then drain.
2. Chop kale into 1cm slices (mine was a bit more rough-n-ready than this, so really just chop it how you see fit.) Put in a steamer basket over a pan of simmering water and steam, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and chilli. Taste and adjust as you see fit. For me, this was the perfect blend, but you may like a stronger soy or sesame flavour. My housemate also thought a hint of sweetness might be nice – maybe a teaspoon of honey/maple syrup/palm sugar, if you’re similarly inclined?
4. Add the arame and kale, and toss. You could serve this straight away, but I found that letting it sit for a few hours in the fridge helped the flavours blend and sing.
5. Serve and enjoy. Oh, how I enjoyed. I wish kale was more accessible in Australia… I could happily eat this every day. (With a pickle. Mmm. Pickles.)