Blackberry Cashew Balsamic Dressing

Blackberry saladCashews are something I grew up with, regularly inserted into our family’s diet whether toasted, raw or ground into a creamy sauce for something delicious and spiced. But I rarely translated these delicious nuts into my non-Indian cooking. I’m fortunate enough to have been introduced to a wonderful vegan chef, Chad Sarno whose use of cashews inspires me–especially when I might feel helpless without dairy.

A quick variation in my own kitchen was to take two of my favorite salad staples, kale and radishes, and make them just a bit more decadent for a recent at-home asado (…where they were served with rosemary-smoked chicken and roasted yams. Sorry, Chad.) In this salad, I love the combination of bitter, sweet, creamy–and how each time I get a bit of radish, it cleanses my palate and takes me through all those experiences again.

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup cashews (raw)
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (coconut oil also works, but changes the flavor quite a bit)
  • 1/4 clove of garlic
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 blackberries
  • pinch of salt

Fresh KaleSalad Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch white radishes, sliced lengthwise (A bit sharper than your normal red radishes, which are a fine substitution.)
  • 1 bunch lacinato or “dinosaur” kale (Now is the season to plant them. We do in pots on our patio!)
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley (curly or Italian)
  • 2 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of blackberries, cut in half, lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup of hemp hearts for topping (optional)

Blend all of the ingredients for the dressing in your blender until smooth. Drizzle in extra lemon juice or olive oil and blend further, depending on the needs of the resulting emulsion.

Place the dry, washed kale in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and massage for 30 seconds. Next, add the dressing and massage until evenly distributed. Then, toss in the rest of the ingredients except the blackberries and hemp hearts. Sprinkle the blackberries and hemp hearts on top as a garnish and serve.

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