I cant even write a proper description of this salad because I'm salivating too hard. This is literally the best thing I've ever made in my life. EVER. Let me just tell you, it took me multiple tries to get this recipe right, but sweet baby jesus, I got it right.
If you like mediterranean-style food, you will die about this salad, because I have an inherent inability to use mediterranean flavors in moderation (I mean, why WOULD you? Let's get weird). This baby has approximately 1 million ingredients, but you need to eat all of them. Don't question me.
Just make this salad. Make it right now. Then come find me so we can hug about it.
What you need:
- 1 bunch kale, separated from bone & chopped
- 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
- 1 small broccoli crown, chopped into small pieces, no stalks
- 1 cup golden cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 cucumber, peeled & chopped
- 1 can garbanzo beans
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup kalamatta olives, pitted & halved
- 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, sliced
- 1/2 cup artichoke hearts, chopped
- 1/4 cup pinenuts
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 45 minutes, longer if you have time
- 2-3 large garlic cloves, pressed
- 3 fat tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 large lemon, juiced
- 1 cup(ish) water
- 1/2 small red onion, diced
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 2 arms for hugging
What you do:
Cook the quinoa, steam the kale and steam the broccoli (both lightly - I like this salad with a little crunch! So steam them separately till they're just past raw.) Combine the three in a massive bowl. Add the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, garbanzo beans, and red wine vinegar. Mix everything extremely well, stick it in the fridge, and tell it to CHILL OUT.
In a separate small bowl, combine the olives, 1/4 cup of the sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and pine nuts. Stir 'em up and stick 'em in the fridge as well.
While all that's getting its chill on, you're going to make some sauce that you might think is made out of pure magic, but it's actually made out of real ingredients with no witchcraft! Place the cashews, garlic, nutritional yeast, onion powder, lemon juice, and the remaining 1/4 cup of the sun dried tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Start mixing and add water in 1/2 cup increments while you chop/grind/pulse/blend/whatever all of this, and just keep adding water until you reach your desired consistency. Then blend till smooth. I like it totally smooth and a little saucier (I'm so saucy), so I recommend about 1.5 cups water in a blender. But do your thang!
Take the chilly stuff out of the fridge, and plate the contents of the big bowl. Spoon some of the contents from the little bowl on top of that, then pour that witchcraft sauce all over it. Sprinkle some red onion and parsley on top of that to your taste, and gorge yourself and at least one other person. Then wait with open arms for the unsolicited hugs that are thrown at you uncontrollably from the recent recipients of your best salad ever. (Go ahead and hug yourself, too.)
All of this nonsense makes about 4 humungous salads. I would tell you it makes maybe 6 small salads, but let's get real. You're going to eat a huge salad. Get after it.
The good news is, you will have a ton of leftover sauce that keeps beautifully in a jar, and your salad leftovers will keep for a couple of days! You can combine all the salad fixings, and I had a minor stroke of genius about the sauce – ladle some into a ziplock bag. This way you have the perfect portion of magic, and it fits nicely on top of your salad inside of the tupperware! When you're ready to douse your salad in it, just cut off one of the bottom corners and squeeze it out like some kind of wild pastry chef with weird soupy icing. BOOM. Leftovers4Life.