An Exceptional Salad with an Unusual Coconut Oil Dressing Recipe

Coconut oil dressing was just one of the brilliant ideas that jumped out at me from the pages of Julia Sherman's new Salad For President cookbook.

An Exceptional Salad with an Unusual Coconut Oil Dressing

For a number of reasons, I'm guessing that few of you have used coconut oil as a major component in a salad dressing before. It's solid and chunky at room temperature. And, if you melt coconut oil, it will return to a solid stated as it cools. Generally speaking, it's just hard to get your head around the idea that it'd be a good foundation for a salad dressing. But, when someone you trust and admire tells you something is a good idea, you listen. Coconut oil dressing was just one of the brilliant ideas that jumped out at me from the pages of Julia Sherman's new Salad For President cookbook. It was relayed to Julia via Claire Evans, front woman of the band Yacht, and futures editor for Vice's Motherboard website. Check out the description in the headnotes, " ...this recipe is gold. The trick is to warmth oil just enough for it to liquify, mix together all of the ingredients, toss them with the salad, and then let the dressing return to its solid state, tiny coating each leaf with a velvety, rich texture and bright citrus chile spice." Right? I was sold so hard on the concept, a 4X, quad-sized version of the dressing resulted. What you'll see below is my tweaked version of the amazing Tatsoi, Macadamia Nuts, and Shaved Coconut with Yuzu Kosho Dressing from Salad for President. I used kale because its what I had (my tatsoi quest came up short). Make a full meal of it by tossing some grilled tofu in a bit of the leftover dressing, and serve it on the side, or as part of the salad.

An Exceptional Salad Dressing

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An Exceptional Salad with an Unusual Coconut Oil Dressing

This salad is inspired by the Tatsoi, Macadamia Nuts, and Shaved Coconut with Yuzu Kosho Dressing recipe in Julia Sherman's new Salad for President Cookbook. Also, a note on yuzu kosho. Look for it online or in any Japanese grocery. It's very much worth keeping on hand, and try to look for one without artificial flavoring.

5 tablespoons cold-pressed coconut oil
3 teaspoons yuzu kosho
2 teaspoons Bragg liquid aminos, tamarin, or coconut aminos
2 1/2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
Juice of two limes

2 bunches (6 ounces) of chopped kale
1/3 cup macadamia nuts, irregularly chopped
1 or 2 fresh chive blossoms
1/3 cup unsweetened dried coconut strips, lightly toasted

to serve: some grilled or broiled tofu tossed with any extra dressing

Make the dressing: If your coconut oil is solid, place a heatproof bowl over a small saucepan with simmering water (a make-shift double boiler), when the oil has melted, remove from heat.

While the oil is still warm, whisk in the yuzu kosho, aminos, vinegar, and lime juice. If the dressing solidifies, rewarm it briefly over a pan or bowl of hot water, whisking it just until it liquifies again.

Make the salad: Arrange the kale in a large serving platter or bowl. While the dressing is liquid, drizzle a generous amount over the kale, and work it thoroughly into the kale with your hands. Sprinkle with the macadamia nuts. Toss again, and allow the salad to sit for 3 to 5 minutes. The macadamia nuts should stick to the surface of the leaves as the oil returns to a solid state.

Pick the purple buds from the chive blossoms and scatter them around the salad. Top with the toasted coconut, and give it all one last light toss. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 5 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Heidi, this looks so good but I will have to wait until i can find out what kosho and Bragg's are let alone trying to find them! However I must say that an older kale salad of yours, Cavolo Nero, punchy garlic dressing and Parmesan cheese is an absolute staple in my house. I make it almost weekly and have done since you first published the recipe. The only thing that stops me is lack of suitable kale so many thanks for that. This new one, I will try! Thanks Annie


I wish ya'all lived closer: I am filthy with chive blossoms. My garden is exploding! PLUS, I actually grew tatosi this year, so I will be making this recipe this week. Looks extraordinary.


This looks unmissable and inspired. Can you say more about the yuzu kosho? Do you make your own? Where might you get it? Thank you!!


this looks so good i west to amazon and bought some yuzu. sounds just delicious.

Maggi Schrock

This salad looks gorgeous, and sounds delicious! Do you use red or green yuzu kosho?

HS: Hi Lisa - I used green, but suspect either would work beautifully.


I love this idea!! (and the yuzu!! with chive blossoms and macadamia! genius!) So uncanny, I was actually just talking to Claire a few days ago. She's so smart and insightful! I'll have to mention to her that you put this on your site! ps where do you get your chive blossoms in the city? ferry building farmer's market?

HS: Hi Natalie! Smallest world, this salad is so interesting :)...I get my chive blossoms at the Ferry Building typically, although sometimes they'll pop up at Bi-Rite. Wish I had my own plants. Hope we see each other soon! xo


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