Shanghai Waldorf Salad

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This month’s Best Dish List Theme is Healthy and Delicious Options Around Town

 

Restaurant: P. F. Changs China Bistro,  Eastview Mall, Victor,  NY  (585) 223-2410

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Kale.   It’s an ingredient so popular that it’s almost become a buzzword. We’re juicing it, sauteeing it, baking it into chips and blending it into smoothies. But it may surprise you to learn that there aren’t many restaurants simply serving it in a salad.

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Shame on them. 

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The Shanghai Waldorf Salad at P.F. Changs China Bistro is at heart, a kale salad.  They’re not hiding the kale by tossing it with mixed greens, or shying away from the boldness of its flavor and texture by over-dressing it. Instead, fresh, leafy green kale is the star, its unique flavor and hearty texture appearing front and center. The greens themselves are sliced into delicate ribbons, perfect for a salad. The deeply green, almost cabbage like flavor is complemented by a miso lime vinaigrette thoughtfully crafted from rice vinegar, soy sauce, agave nectar, shallots, minced garlic, ginger, chile paste, fresh lime juice and miso paste. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the flavor and texture of the kale (strong enough to stand up to it but not overpowering)s applied in just the right ratio – I was able to discern both the distinct flavor of the dressing and the unique (and delicious) flavor of the kale. Perfect. 

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Also in perfect balance to the kale are the salad’s other elements; crunchy candied walnuts, crisp apples, plump grapes and ripe grape tomatoes, adding the sweetness and crunch we all love in a salad, and which are especially important against so strong a flavor profile as kale. The salad can also be ordered with chicken, which I chose (and it was juicy and delicious, thanks) but alone it is definitely hearty enough for a meat free main course (and lunch the next day) (seriously, did you see the size of this thing?).

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This was a wonderful taste of spring in the dead of winter – a memorable salad with a gorgeous presentation, and I enjoyed every bite. 

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-Allison Zimmer, A-List Contributor

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