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Black bean and kale salad with spiced cashew dressing

For the Dressing

  • Cashews 5 tablespoons

  • Apple cider vinegar 2 teaspoons

  • Paprika 1 teaspoon

  • Salt 1/4 teaspoon

  • Turmeric 1/4 teaspoon

  • Water 30ml

  • Garlic Cloves 1

  • Peanut Butter 1 teaspoon

  • Honey 2 teaspoons

  • Red chilli 1/4 teaspoon

  • Lime 1

For the salad

  • Kale 1 bunch, around 100g, chopped

  • Red pepper 1/2, chopped

  • Carrot 1, chopped

  • Lettuce 1 bunch, around 200g, chopped

  • Fennel 1 small bulb, chopped (optional)

  • Black pinto beans 1 tin

  • Nachos 1 pack

  • Sesame seeds 1-2 tablespoons

For the dressing

Start by soaking the cashews in water for a couple of hours or overnight. If you have less time, soak in hot water so they soften quicker. When making the dressing, add together all the ingredients for the dressing with the soaked cashews and blend in a high speed blender. Taste for the balance of salt, lime, chilli and add more of either of them if you wish.

For the salad

Chop all the ingredients in small pieces and then add the pinto beans, mix together. When serving, mix in the dressing, then crush the nachos into the salad at the last possible moment so it remains crunchy and leave a bowl of nachos (I prefer using the rice works brand) on the side when serving so everyone can add more. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top and serve.

We’ve been having rather a lot of small gatherings recently, and for these, I love making a large, filling, full of flavour salad, with ample crunch. It converts a simple side salad into a main, complementing any meal or feast. The fact that it is always eaten up so quickly is as much to do with the yummy dressing (and lots of it!) as it is to do with the contrasts of textures. The best part of a salad like this is that you can add whichever leaves you happen to have or love.

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