Kale and Napa Cabbage Salad with Sumac Pickled Onions

Citrusy and slightly sour sumac and a touch of maple syrup enliven pickled onions in a perfect complement to this salad. Kale and Napa cabbage stand up for hours to the sweet and puckery dressing, and hearty farro will keep you going while on the road. This salad is sure to be a favourite for picnics, backyard potlucks, or road trip lunch stops.


1 cup (250 mL) finely sliced red onion3 Tbsp (45 mL) apple cider vinegar1/4 tsp (1 mL) crushed red pepper flakes1 tsp (5 mL) maple syrup1 tsp (5 mL) sumacPinch of salt1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided5 cups (1.25 L) finely sliced cavolo nero (Italian) kale1 cup (250 mL) finely sliced Napa cabbage2/3 cup (160 mL) finely sliced fresh mint3 Medjool dates, pits removed and finely chopped2 cups (500 mL) cooked farro, drained and cooled



Celebrate & Feel Great!

In small bowl, combine onion, vinegar, red pepper flakes, maple syrup, sumac, salt, and pepper, and set aside.


In large bowl, add 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil and kale, and massage kale for a few minutes with your hands. Let stand for 20 minutes.


To assemble salad, toss kale, pickled onion dressing, and remaining olive oil with cabbage, mint, dates, and farro. Keep cool or refrigerate for up to 4 hours before enjoying.

Dressing for dinner

This salad stands up well, even while dressed, for up to 4 hours. (Truth be told, I’ve often happily eaten it the next day.) In fact, time helps kale to soften up and become even more delicious.

If you’re travelling for a longer period, make the pickled onion dressing as described above: let it stand for about 20 minutes, and then add all the oil and pack it into a separate container so you can finish the salad when you arrive at your destination. The pickled onions are also great with steaks or chicken.

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