Kale Salad, Beets, Pistachio vinaigrette, Kumquat

This is a great thanksgiving side dish for a number of reasons. 1. It’s delicious. 2. It mixes well with a lot of other stuff. 3. The rawness of it is a good contrast from all the heavy, long-cooked flavors of a traditional thanksgiving. 4. If you’ve got a mixed thanksgiving, this is a good place for some supplementary vegan protein.  And this is especially important if you’re with family or any gathering where you don‘t know everybody: there is a direct relationship between  the quality of the food you bring vs. the amount of leniency stupid americans will allow you when you start drunkenly (or if you’re really good, soberly) ranting about genocide and slavery and the real foundation of this country and how we could all work together to make a radically better future.

  • 1 cup pistachios
  • 1 large clove of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 head of kale
  • 1 bunch of beets
  • 4 kumquats, sliced thin with seeds removed
  • ¾ cup rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup succanat
  • Croutons 

Toast the pistachios in a single layer in a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes or so, until fragrant. Combine the rice vinegar, succanat and ½ cup water in a small pot and bring to a boil. Pour over the kumquat slices.  Let cool.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil and salt it aggressively.  When it’s boiling, add in the beets. Cook, covered for 30 minutes or so, until the beets are tender.  When they’re still warm, slip them out of the skin and cut them into wedges.

When the pistachios are cool, put them in the bowl of a food processor along with the red wine vinegar, olive oil, garlic, and salt to taste.  Season with salt and vinegar to taste.

About a half hour before you’re ready to serve, chiffonade the kale and put it in a bowl. Season lightly with salt, red wine vinegar and olive oil and smash it with your fists. Crush it up real good so that the vinegar and salt can start tenderizing it.  When it is time to serve, combine the beets, kumquats, croutons, pistachio dressing and kale. Toss, taste for seasoning, and serve.