21 February 2012

Downtown Lunch

I work in downtown San Francisco, in the middle of The Financial District. I’m surrounded by lunch places that cater to every need, whether it’s a simple cup of soup or an extravagantly expensive steak prepared by a celebrity chef. For a combination of reasons, including wanting to know where my food comes from and how it’s prepared--although I’m not gonna lie, my inner miser plays a role too– I usually end up bringing my own lunch. I’m somewhat limited by my office resources; for example, as I imagine the case is with most people, there is not a stove in our office kitchen. (Whatever were the building owners thinking?) And while there is a microwave, I try to limit how much I use it. As such, I’m always on the lookout for creative salads.

This kale salad is a stand out in my book. It’s simple to make but the flavors are complex, it has received rave reviews whenever I’ve served it, and unlike lettuce-based salads that wilt after a few hours, this one is still ready to rock-n-roll after several hours or even as leftovers the next day. If you make it the day before, I would add the dressing and cheese in the morning and let it marinate for a couple of hours. You can also get creative with the add-ins but I would keep the ratios in the dressing more or less the same.


1 bunch of kale, stemmed and sliced into strips.

1/4 cup of chopped, toasted hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts.

1/4 cup of dried currants (or dried cherries, cranberries, or raisins)

grated parmesan or gruyere to taste

1 tbl olive oil

1 tbl rice vinegar

2 tbl sherry, balsamic, or white balsamic vinegar

1 tbl maple syrup

1 tsp sea salt

Mix the dressing. Combine the kale, dried fruit, and nuts in a bowl and toss with the dressing. Let it sit for about 30 minutes or so. Garnish with grated cheese to taste. You can double this recipe quite easily. If you come up with any good variations, let me know.



  1. OKay Dokay...That was tasty! Fun that if you don't have something you can just substitute what you do have. :)
    My tweeks/substitutions: Pomagranite balsamic, roasted cashews, ginger,organic unsulfered apricots, chia seeds, 3 organic strawberries.
    Thanks Megan! L

  2. I was lucky enough to poach this recipe from you Meg a couple years ago and make it a couple times a year. it's soooo good and i also think it gets better the next day. Thanks for sharing! Em

  3. I think I'll make this Friday when we have guests for brunch!