Salad Booster

Salad Booster Recipe

I often carry a small vial of this spiced kale and nori medley in my purse, refilling it every few days. I got the idea years back when I saw the words "salad booster" on a jar in the spice section of one of the natural foods stores I frequent. The seasoning was a blend of a few types of seaweed, sprouted seeds, and the like. Nutrient-dense and delicious, you'd use it as a healthful seasoning for salad, vegetables, stir-fries - whatever you like. The idea stuck with me and I started making my own, usually using a toasted nori and kale base. From there I'd add nuts and/or seeds, and whatever spices I was craving at the time. I'll include my base recipe down below, but really, think of it as a jumping off point.

Salad BoosterSalad BoosterSalad Booster

I'm going to encourage you to embrace this seasoning enthusiastically. You don't want to skimp. A pinch isn't really the spirit, really go for it. I use a couple teaspoons on a rice bowl, same goes for a good-sized salad or stir-fry. Also, it's a nice little treat to hand off to friends :)

Salad Booster

2 sheets nori seaweed
2 oz kale (8-10 leaves), stems and center ribs removed
1/4 cup / 1 oz / 30g sunflower seeds
zest of one lemon
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

-------optional add-ins ----------------------

1/4 teaspoon sansho pepper (optional)
sea salt to taste
dried herbs
bee / fennel pollen

Heat the oven to 300F / 150C with racks in the top and bottom third. Wash the kale well, and pat dry thoroughly with a clean dish towel. Arrange the kale in a single layer on one parchment-lined baking sheet, and the nori, sunflower seeds, and lemon zest on another. I often tear the nori into pieces so it's easier to arrange.

Place both sheets in the oven until everything is nicely toasted. Remove the sunflower seeds, lemon zest, and nori after about 20 minutes (keep a close eye on things). And remove the kale after that, it typically takes about 5 minutes longer. Let all the ingredients cool and crisp.

Crumble the nori and kale into a large mortar and pestle along with 1 tablespoon of the sunflower seeds. Pound until finely ground. Alternately, you can pulse in a food processor. Work in the dried lemon zest and pepper flakes (and sansho pepper if you're using it), and add the remaining sunflower seeds. Blend until the seeds are broken up just a bit.

Makes about 2/3 cup.

Prep time: 5 minutes - Cook time: 25 minutes

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

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Comments

What a lovely idea. I can't wait to try it soon.

Marina

Love this mix. I have something similar that comes from House spices called Shichimi Togarashi that I use all the time to sprinkle on stuff. Making it fresh will be fun!

I LOVE THIS IDEA! I'll be making this over the weekend for sure... I was wondering what to do with my leftover nori anyhow :)

I'd love to see how you carry this. I'm sure it's a pretty cool vial and probably not a brown plastic medicine bottle!

Funny, I would totally pass up such a thing in the store as funky, foolish food silliness, but to hear that you have a vial of it in your purse, and to think of making it--totally appealing. Thanks for sharing!

I am curious - I have been drying flowers in my microwave for a while now - and they come out crispy.... wouldn't Kale and Nori come out crispy from the microwave too?

Red

Wow! This is brilliant. I've been making a lot of Mediterranean and Israeli chopped salads that this would be perfect with. Many thanks for your inspiration and graciousness ~See you at Bi-Rite;-)

Nice interpretation of furikake! I was always a huge fan of the ones high in crushed sesame seeds but also like mushroom powder, if you haven't tried that.

This looks amazing, I can't wait to try making some :) I am in LOVE with the flavor of nori. I will definitely need a toothbrush or mirror and toothpick after this though...

Mish

reminds me of a japanese version of dukkah.

This sounds so interesting! Can't quite imagine the taste...the more curious I am to give it a try!

Heidi, do you ever play around with nutritional yeast? I have been adding it to various salts and dried flavor bombs and I really enjoy the savory quality.

Reminds me of Shichimi Togarashi 1 tbsp. of Szichuan peppercorns 1 ½ tsp. of dried orange peel 1 ½ tsp. of ground dried red chile (use a chile appropriate to your heat tolerance) 1 tsp. of crushed, flaked nori 1 tsp. of black sesame seeds 1 tsp. of white poppy seeds 1 tsp. of granulated garlic And this came with a recipe for fried udon noodles.

Katherine

What a wonderful idea to make my own ... I've purchased versions of pre-made spice blends like this (can't recall the brand name, but it included dried seaweeds, black sesame seeds and other herbs), but would love to try making my own ... Do you think arame seaweed or dulce would work ... ? I have a big bag of both that I've been meaning to find a use for ... Or is there something special about the nori seaweed sheets? Thanks for sharing!

Tamsyn

This looks awesome. I love that you carry it in your purse - I can certainly see it coming in handy for mealtimes!

This looks so yummy! I"m going to try it. A question though--does it matter which ingredients you place on the top rack or bottom rack? Why not just place them both on the middle rack? (Can you tell I'm not an experienced cook?) Thanks!

Cara O'Sullivan

This sounds a lot like furikake! I love that stuff, must try making this at home.

What do you use to carry it in that fits in your purse?

What I've always wondered, is if there is any actual nutrient value left in kale (and nori for that matter) after it is toasted? I mean - it may taste good, but if it is mostly empty of actual goodness, that would be kind of sad. Does anyone know for sure?

pvl

Hate nori, but this is interesting! Hmmmm maybe just some dried flat leaf parsley.

dc

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