This spring while I was in LA I  sent both John K. Samson (Manitoban, writer, solo artist, frontman of The Weakerthans) and A$AP Rocky postcards asking for recipes, with my email written at the bottom. John K. got a kitsch 70s postcard with a girl sitting on a swing (I think) and A$AP got a postcard with a rare photo of the elusive jackalope. This was the gorgeous recipe and reply I got from John.



Thanks so much for your postcard. As requested, here is a recipe: I should say that I got the recipe from a friend who cribbed it from a very interesting restaurant in Toronto called The Atlantic, now unfortunately closed. Not sure what the rules for attribution are when it comes to recipes.


illustration by Chris Harward


Very Fine Kale Salad



  • ¾ bunch of kale
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 medium-sized ripe avocado



Take ¾, maybe a bit more, of the bunch of kale and wash it. Reserve the rest for a treat for your budgie, Pickles.

Remove the bottom parts of the stems to compost.

Chop the kale very finely. Maybe there is a word for this type of chopping? It should take you a good 10 minutes. Once you think it is fine enough, keep chopping a little longer.

Put the chopped Kale in a glass bowl. Add the lemon juice. Stab at it a bit with a spatula to evenly distribute the juice.

Cover with a plate and let it sit, unrefrigerated, for awhile. Like a half hour to an hour or so.

Immediately before serving, massage the avocado into the kale with your hands. I’ve tried other ways, but nothing works as well. Actually, just use one hand, so you can turn the tap on with the other one when you’re cleaning up.

Serve right away. The lemon mellows the kale, and the avocado gives a creamy texture. We probably eat it twice a week at our house, mostly with rice/veggie/tofu based dishes, and occasionally use it instead of a guacamole.


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