Delicious Bean and Kale Salad, with wakame and star anise.

Came home from Crowd Share Sunday,

where I ate some great food, and cooked-up the pot of red kidney beansI’d put to soak the night before.  When they were done, I made this salad, working intuitively, searching my memory bank for the tastes and textures I was after.

It blew my socks off with flavor.  Surprised even the cook herself!

Illicium verum
Image via Wikipedia

I find sometimes just adding  an unusual spice to my cupboard opens up a whole new culinary experience.

Star Anise stars in this recipe,

not as a bright northern star, rather as a twinkling constellation  dancing across your sense of taste, touch and smell!

How to make

  • Soak a cup of dried kidney beans overnight.
  • Cook them in simmering water till soft.
  • Drain and reserve the liquid.
Curly kale
Image via Wikipedia


  • Chop about 2 cups of dark green, curly Kale (save the thick middle stem for soups, they need to be cooked or processed or you’re digestive system will complain!)
  • Put in a pot and cover with boiling water and a lid.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes
  • Drain and set aside
While the kale is cooking, put 3 heaping dessert spoonfuls dried wakame to soak in a cup of hot water.

Meanwhile Add to the Beans:

  • 2 small minced cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 a minced red onion
  • 1 medium apple, chopped to small bite-size
  • About 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • A pinch of hot red chili
  • 2 T of the reserved bean-cooking liquid
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T dark soya sauce
  • 3 T golden linseed
  • 2 star anise broken into small pieces (break off the star tips)
  • The drained kale
  • Mix all together and set aside to marinate.
Image by tuli nishimura via Flickr

Drain the wakame,

cut it up with kitchen scissors, and add to the salad.  Stir well. marinate for about 30 minutes before serving.

Note Well:
  • No need for added salt when using wakame.  It has enough natural salt to bring out the other flavors!
  • Drain and soak wakame twice when making a salad like this so as not overwhelm the flavors.

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