Houston's-Style Kale Salad

This 41-year-old restaurant chain added its Asian kale salad to the menu about five years ago-just as kale started taking over the country-and now the dish is a cult favorite. The restaurant goes by 15 different names in 12 states (you may know it as Hillstone or Bandera) and not every location sells the salad, but diners who taste it tend to become obsessed.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 20 min
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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For the Dressing:

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon honey dijon mustard

1 teaspoon sugar

2 pinches cayenne pepper

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup roasted peanut oil

For the Salad:

8 cups chopped curly kale leaves (from one 10-ounce bunch)

1 1/2 cups finely shredded green cabbage (about 1/4 small head)

3/4 cup roasted salted peanuts, finely chopped

3/4 cup fresh cilantro

4 scallions, sliced (green parts only)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Make the dressing: Whisk the vinegar, mustard, sugar, cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a large bowl. Slowly drizzle in the peanut oil, whisking constantly.
  2. Make the salad: Add the kale and cabbage to the bowl; toss and massage with your hands until the kale softens, about 1 minute. Add the peanuts, cilantro and scallions and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.