Ubuntu’s Braised and Raw Black Kale Salad recipe! »
Ubuntu's chef Aaron London has a side dish for us for Thanksgiving! IT’S EXCLUSIVE (I think, maybe not) and DELICIOUS (this is for sure a fact) and something we can all make and serve to our family so they don’t die from butter and lard consumption on the big day. Happy holidays!
4 bunches of kale, pulled from stem and washed
2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
½ cup extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup cooking sherry
½ cup pine nuts, toasted at 325 F for 10 to 12 minutes
2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
Vegan parmesan cheese substitute, i.e. Parma
Salt and pepper to taste
Sweat the onions over low heat in a heavy bottomed pot in ¼ cup olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic and chili flake and continue to cook while stirring until the raw garlic smell is gone.
Add three bunches of kale to the pot and stir until well coated with the oil and onion mixture. Add in ½ cup water and place a tight-fitting lid on the pot. Continue to cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for approximately one hour, until the kale is braised and very tender.
Place the raisins in a small pot with the sherry, and cook on low heat, while stirring, until the raisins are plumped and tender. Then place them in a bowl and add the balsamic, pine nuts, zest and juice of 1 lemon, ¼ cup olive oil, and reserve.
Use a sharp knife to slice your remaining kale into thin ribbons, and toss this with the juice and zest of two lemons. Hold this in the refrigerator for up to 20 minutes.
Once your kale is braised, and the other steps are done, run a knife a few times through the braised kale; you don’t want to chop it too much, just get it into more manageable-sized pieces.
Lay the braised kale out on either a large platter, or individual dishes, and drizzle with some of your pine nut vinaigrette, then top with the raw kale and the remaining vinaigrette. Finally, top the dish with as much vegan parmesan-substitute as you like.
Serves six. This dish can be eaten as is, and is also very nice served over red quinoa.
Ubuntu in Napa revisited AGAIN »
Quick recap: Ubuntu is this fancy-fancy
vegetarian vegetables restaurant in Napa that I have a tumultuous relationship with. However, I recently returned and had probably the best meal of my life—they tried to knock me out with flavor flav and almost succeeded! The meal was UNSANE and you can read all about it at SF Weekly! Oh, and you can look at my fairly crappy pictures here and ALSO, I posted some below. Bam!
This is my current amateur opinion on the state of Ubuntu: You just gotta go balls-out, throw caution (read: your wallet) to the wind and order at least the prix fixe menu, preferably the chef’s tasting menu, which can be done vegan in a way that doesn’t sacrifice the dishes at all. You can’t go to Ubuntu hoping to piece a meal together from the a la carte menu, you gotta GO BIG OR GO HOME (hungry). Being in the SF Bay Area, we’re super lucky to live so close to a restaurant where vegans can really do it up, and eat a meal that rivals those available in the best restaurants in the world.* Anyway, if you don’t have a sugar daddy or a trust fund, you best get one and fast. Also, if you are either a sugar daddy or a trust fund, let’s get it on! I am willing to completely bankrupt myself in every way for another taste of that sweet sweet Ubuntu lovin’.
ARTICHOKE PASTA FROM HEAVEN:
*I mean, I guess, I don’t even know if the food in those restaurants is that great. I’ve eaten in some of them as an omnivore and enjoyed the meals less than I did an order of veggie chow fun from Golden Era or the tamales at Gracias Madre but I’m no
foodie asshole expert.