Kale and Toasted Pumpkin Seed Salad (gf)

Kale and Toasted Pumpkin Seed Salad
Chef Shane Chartrand’s salad combines both fried and blanched kale with an irresistible taste of fall, fresh pumpkin seeds. From his new cook book Tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine, available in October.

1 lb baby kale leaves, divided
20 Brussels sprout leaves (about 2 Brussels sprouts)
6 green onions, green parts only, cut into 2-inch lengths
canola oil
½ t fleur de sel plus extra for seasoning
2 T unsalted raw pumpkin seeds

Bring a large pot of salted water to a rapid boil. Prepare an ice water bath (a large bowl filled with cold water and ice cubes). Submerge about one-quarter of the kale leaves and all the sprout leaves and green onions in the boiling water. Cook for about 30 seconds (you want the leaves to be tender but still resilient). Using a wire-mesh scoop or slotted spoon, transfer the blanched greens to the prepared ice water bath and submerge for about 30 seconds. Scoop out the cooled greens, shake off any excess liquid and pat dry with a clean cloth or paper towel. Set aside.

Preheat a deep-fryer to 350°F or pour about 3 inches of oil into a deep pot. (If you have a splatter screen for the top of the pot, it will soon come in handy.) Line a baking sheet with paper towel. Immerse the remaining kale leaves in the hot oil (make sure the leaves are very dry so the oil won’t splatter too much). At first it will bubble vigorously, but as the moisture cooks out, there will be less activity. Fry until the leaves turn medium brown around the edges, about 20 seconds (the leaves should be crunchy but still flexible). Using a wire mesh scoop or slotted spoon, scoop out the leaves and give them a gentle shake over the deep-fryer. Turn the leaves out onto the prepared baking sheet. Season. Set aside.

In a dry cast iron or heavy sauté pan over medium heat, toast the pumpkin seeds until they are a light golden colour. Reserve.
To serve, combine the deep-fried kale and the blanched greens in a bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and toss gently to coat all of the greens. Turn on to a nice platter and top with the toasted pumpkin seeds. Finish with a sprinkling of fleur de sel.

Serves 2.


2 T cold-pressed canola oil or extra-virgin olive oil
1 T finely grated lemon zest
juice of ½ lemon
¼ t salt

Whisk together the oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt in a small bowl.