Kale and Avocado Salad with Black Garlic (or Roasted Garlic) Vinaigrette

When I moved to LA in the late ’90s, I was pretty sure of two things.  First, that I was going to love graduate school.  And second, that I–born and raised in Northern California–would hate living in LA.  But life has that funny way of playing tricks on you sometimes, and of course the opposite was true.

About LA: I liked the 72 and sunny, of course, and I liked riding my bike to the beach and the farmers market.  I liked breakfasts on Venice Beach and the late-night city scene and did I mention the 72 and sunny?  But what I loved most about living in LA was my roommate.

Having a good friend means a lot in a new place, and I lucked out when I connected with my roommate through the school’s matching system.  She picked me, she later said, because I said I wanted to find an apartment with a balcony so I could have an herb garden.  Ours flourished in the three years we lived together, and I was so sad to say goodbye to her when I left my roommate and that apartment to move to Seattle.

But life has that funny way of playing tricks on you sometimes, and now she lives in Seattle too.  We went shopping for seeds and starts this spring for our respective gardens, and when we had lunch last week she brought me a gorgeous bag of newly-picked kale from her back yard.  Old friends, tender new greens, both so nice to have around.

A kale salad was in order, of course.  Some creamy avocado, some toasted almonds for crunch.  I gave that fermented black garlic one last chance and blended it into a vinaigrette.  Last time I baked it and I thought maybe I had destroyed its magic properties with the heat–but no, its flavor simply isn’t that dramatic.  So you can save yourself $3.50 and substitute half a head of roasted garlic for the black garlic if you prefer.Kale and Avocado Salad with Black Garlic Vinaigrette: First, make your dressing by blending the following until smooth: 1/2 head black garlic (or substitute 1/2 head roasted garlic or 1 regular garlic clove), 2 Tb. rice vinegar, 2 Tb. olive oil, 1 Tb. chopped parsley, and salt and pepper.  Tear a bunch of kale into bite-sized pieces.  Dress and toss well, then divide between bowls.  Top each bowl with some diced avocado and a handful of crunchy toasted sliced almonds.



4 thoughts on “Kale and Avocado Salad with Black Garlic (or Roasted Garlic) Vinaigrette

  1. Tammy

    how lovely, all ’round…I shall remember to recommend to my own children that if they go to grad-school, they should request a balcony to grow an herb garden! Sounds like a wonderful way to know someone’s best side :-)
    And that recipe – exactly what I’ll cook up today with the avocados sitting on the shelf and the beautiful bunch of kale from my friend’s farm down the road! However, no ‘black garlic’, so I shall roast some plain garlic instead.
    Thank you!

  2. Hannah

    I am so making this salad today! I can’t resist the combination of kale and avocado, and your dressing sounds terrific.

    I lived in LA for grad school with my best friend, too, and that’s also what I loved most. We had all our favorite breakfast spots and cute shops on Montana to pop into together…so much fun. You are fortunate to have your close friend here in Seattle now and that you can continue to share together.

  3. baconbiscuit212

    Sometimes it happens that the people you’re closest to end up where you are. It actually seems like everyone is moving to Seattle these days. My best friend is up there, and Susan from Susan Eats London is moving there from London. Maybe it’s a sign!

    Your kale and avocado salad looks good! It’s kind of sad that the black garlic wasn’t more dramatic of a flavor. I mean, if something is called fermented black garlic, is it wrong for me to expect something strong?


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