The best salad I ever made

Last night I made this salad again; I had mentioned it in my newsletter twice, once in 2018 when I had to close the doors of my brick and mortar due to smoke in San Francisco and again in 2020 when the pandemic first began. I had owned the store since 1999, and it was the first time I had ever closed the doors, which had nothing to do with the salad. It has a soothing effect on me, it is a bit complicated, but I know its steps now. I hope you also find it comforting and delicious. All the credit goes to Solveig Dimon, a teacher of my daughter. 


Solveig’s Kale & Cabbage Salad


half a bunch of lacinato (or dinosaur!) kale chopped 

quarter to third of a head of green cabbage sliced and chopped

half a bunch of cilantro chopped 

avocado finely diced

quarter cup roasted peanuts

quarter cup carmelized almonds


Dressing: Make in a jar and shake it up! (If I make it directly in the salad bowl, I squeeze the garlic first and mash it up some more with the salt and sugar using the back of a spoon and whisk the rest of the ingredients together, then add the greens)

1clove garlic squeezed

quarter teaspoon smoked chili salt (or plain salt)

four drops toasted sesame oil

half teaspoon sugar

lemon (or lime) juice from half a lemon + a little zest

3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

olive oil

peanut or sunflower oil (approximately half and half olive and peanut)

Should be salty sweet and sour for the best kick of flavors. The measurements are all approximations as I don’t measure anything, so taste and adjust the salt sugar and tartness. I often just add more balsamic since it is sweet and sour. You can dress the greens a bit ahead of time, but don’t add avocado and nuts until serving so the nuts are nice and crunchy. The almonds and peanuts add their own sweet and salty flavors. It is also fun to add other stuff like heirloom tomatoes or cucumbers or red onion!