Kale salad with black garlic.

Recipe: Kale Salad with Black Garlic, Two Ways

Black garlic is a type of aged garlic that is of East Asian origin — it's an ordinary bulb that is aged for several weeks at a regulated warm and humid temperature. It essentially caramelizes itself, resulting in a dark, jam-like product that has the consistency of roasted garlic.

Chefs are often looking at how to utilize the touted ingredient, without discoloring lighter dressings, sauces or marinades. Here are two recipes that use black garlic to add complexity to a classic balsamic glaze and a fermented black bean sauce.  Both sauces are then used to flavor a massaged kale salad.

What's Good to Know with Chef O:

  • Use black garlic in marinades, veggie burger patties or when cooking darker-colored beans or lentils. 
  • The enzymes that make garlic taste pungent break down during the aging process.
  • Flavor notes of black garlic include tamarind, dates, licorice and caramel.
  • Both the black garlic balsamic glaze and black garlic fermented black bean sauces can be frozen for a number of months.
  • Massaging a sauce or glaze into a kale salad is a creative alternative for using a standard dressing or vinaigrette.

Recipe

Kale Salad with Black Garlic, Two Ways

Ingredients

For the Black Garlic Balsamic Glaze:

Yield: 1 cup

  • 2 cups balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 head black garlic
  • pinch sea salt

For the Black Garlic Fermented Black Bean Sauce:

Yield: 2 cups

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
  • 1 piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sambal oelek
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Chinese rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup seedless tamarind purée
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup dried fermented black beans, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and rinsed
  • 1 head black garlic, skins removed
  • 2 cups water

Directions

For the Black Garlic Balsamic Glaze:

  1. Blend together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, peeled black garlic cloves and sea salt.
  2. Transfer mixture to a saucepan and reduce for 10 to 15 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Set aside and cool. Mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.

For the Black Garlic Fermented Black Bean Sauce:

  1. Warm canola oil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Add in scallions and ginger and cook for 2 minutes or until translucent. Stir occasionally.
  3. Stir in sambal oelek and cornstarch thoroughly.
  4. Deglaze with Chinese rice wine and simmer until it cooks out.
  5. Add in soy sauce, maple syrup, apple juice, tamarind purée, sea salt, rinsed fermented black beans, black garlic and water.
  6. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook on low for 10 to 20 minutes or until sauce is thickened.

Kale Salad with Black Garlic Balsamic Glaze, Tangerine & Toasted Pine Nuts

Yield: 8 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch curly green kale, destemmed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup black garlic balsamic glaze
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 6 tangerines, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. Massage chopped kale with black garlic balsamic glaze, olive oil and sea salt.
  2. Fold in toasted pine nuts, tangerine slices and thinly sliced red onion.

Kale Salad with Black Garlic Fermented Bean Sauce, Scallions & Crushed Peanuts

Yield: 8 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch curly green kale, destemmed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup black garlic black bean sauce
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 3/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped finely 
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 scallions, sliced

Directions:

  1. Massage chopped kale with black garlic black bean sauce, toasted sesame oil and sea salt.
  2. Fold in crushed peanuts, thinly sliced red onion and sliced scallions.

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