Adapted from Molly Katsen, Heart of the Plate
2 tablespoons Chinese chili sauce
1 teaspoon minced or crushed garlic
Up to 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 teaspoons agave nectar or sugar
¼ heaping teaspoon salt, or more to taste
2 teaspoons cider vinegar or unseasoned rice vinegar
½ teaspoon soy sauce, or more to taste
¼ cup grapeseed or peanut oil
2 large or 4 small bunches very fresh lacinato kale (1 pound total) (this would be Dragon Kale)
6 ounces angel hair pasta
2 oranges, peeled, sectioned, and sections removed from membranes
½ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
- Put on a large pot of water to boil.
- Combine the chili sauce, garlic, zest, agave or sugar, salt, vinegar, and ½ teaspoon of the soy sauce in a large bowl. Whisk to blend, then keep whisking as you drizzle in the oil until it is completely incorporated. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Slice off and discard the larger kale stems, then make a uniform pile of the leaves and roll them tightly into a kale cigar. Make thin slices crosswise with an extremely sharp knife. Transfer to a large colander in the sink. Rinse and drain the kale, then leave the whole setup in the sink to await the hot noodles.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water, keeping the heat high. Cook for the amount of time recommended on the package, tasting the pasta toward the end of the suggested time to be sure it is not getting overcooked. When it is just tender enough to bite into comfortably, but not yet mushy (better to err on the al dente side), dump the pasta plus all its water into the kale in the colander. Shake hard a few times to drain, then transfer the pasta and kale, still hot, directly into the bowl of dressing.
- Use a fork or tongs to mix all the ingredients, lifting from the bottom of the bowl to distribute the dressing evenly. Let cool to room temperature and then taste to adjust the seasonings, if necessary.
- If not serving immediately, cover tightly and let stand at room temperature, or in the refrigerator if your kitchen is too hot and/or you prefer your salad chilled. Serve within 2 hours, ideally in individual bowls, gently mixing in the orange sections and most of the almonds and sprinkling the remaining almonds over the top.