This Thai inspired Pomelo and Kale Salad, garnished with fragrant basil, mint, coriander and studded with toasted cashew nuts and crispy onions is that fresh flavour and texture hit when you need a dose of healthy. Being back in Abu Dhabi after almost 2 months away from home, we’re craving our own cooking and since it’s a lot hotter here in the desert since we’ve left, this pomelo and kale salad is a welcome remedy.
Not that I am complaining about the food we’ve had while traveling, no frills peri peri chicken just outside of Olhao; the famous vasquinhos made by Pastelaria Vela D Ouro in Sines; black pudding, smoked Gubbeen and harissa toasted sandwich in Dublin, perhaps too many glasses of orange Pinot Grigio in Brescia, finally making it to Dishoom in London (it was as good as I had hoped it would be) and a brilliant evening at Belly of the Beast which in my opinion is the one restaurant not to miss when in Cape Town.
While in London I won my second Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year award. No doubt a career highlight to not only win but to be there when it was announced. My winning image in the On The Phone category was this shot I took in Galle Fort, Sri Lanka. I don’t think you can get more street than this street food scene.
Back to the Pomelo Salad. It’s a combination I’ve seen quite a bit of here in the UAE and have enjoyed at spots like the brilliant Orfali Bros in Dubai and used chef Mohamad’s dish as inspiration.
Kale is not exactly the first leaf I turn to, I prefer spinach any day but it does work so well in this salad. Pomelos are much bigger than grapefruit, with a thicker skin and pith and slightly sweeter too but if you can not get your hands on pomelo do use grapefruit. I managed to get my hands on a pale pink and white pomelo which looked beautiful against the dark green of the kale.
I think the secret to any good salad is a combination of fresh flavours and textures. And for this Pomelo and Kale salad I loaded it up with fresh herbs, basil (you can also use holy basil or Thai basil), coriander and mint. Then for the texture, toasted cashew nuts (you can replace with peanuts) and a handful of crispy fried onions (thank you Ikea). If you feel like more crunch and a bit more flavour some thinly sliced and fried garlic will work like a charm.
The salad is finished off with a simple dressing of olive oil and pomelo or lime juice with a good pinch of salt. If you want a creamier dressing, my favourite tahini and soy dressing from this Tomato and Blood Orange Salad will be great too. I would use lime or pomelo juice rather than rice vinegar if you go with the tahini dressing.
I hope you enjoy this recipe for Thai Inspired Pomelo and Kale Salad. The recipe below is just an indication of quantities – add more or less of each ingredient to suit your taste. Remember to share your photos with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram with the hashtag #heinstirred. It is always a treat to see the recipes made and enjoyed.
- large bunch of kale ribs and stems removed
- 2 pomelos or grapefruit
- small bunch of fresh basil leaves
- small bunch of fresh coriander leaves
- small bunch of fresh mint leaves
- handful toasted cashew nuts
- 3 tablespoons crispy fried onion
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pomelo juice or fresh lime juice
- good pinch of salt
- Using a sharp knife, peel and cut the white pith from the pomelos then cut between the membranes to release the segments
- Keep any juice to mix in with the salad dressing (and reduce the lime juice accordingly)
- Make the salad dressing by whisking the olive oil, lime or pomelo juice and season with salt
- Tear and place the kale on a platter and add the pomelo segments, herbs, nuts and onion
- Drizzle with the dressing and serve