Kale Salad
Is there any vegetable out there quite as revered as kale? The greens’ high nutritional value has been beat into our head’s enough that if you haven’t attempted to eat kale by this point, I might assume you’ve been in a coma. I’ve ordered kale salads at restaurants, munched on a kale chip or two, and hidden the green in smoothies and honestly hated every minute of it. In defense of the salads, I would always say that had I massaged the greens longer or doused them in more dressing, they might have been edible. Is there a golden ratio of vitamins to vinaigrette?
lacinato kale
Not all kales are created equal, as I’ve recently discovered. The kale of my past was (the most common) curly variety; the kale of my future is lacinato. Also referred to as “dinosaur kale” because of its resemblance to T-Rex arms (Did the Italians come up with that?), lacinato kale has been grown for centuries in Tuscany and is a traditional ingredient in minestrone. Unlike curly kale with its frilly leaves and earthy flavor, lacinato kale is smooth and sweet.
curly kale
After a life-altering salad at Sitka and Spruce in Seattle last month, I’ve come to realize that some of the best salads highlight freshly picked greens, salty cheese, and nuts. The recipe for this salad originally had breadcrumbs but I wanted a little crunch without the carbs. Toasted hazelnuts, per my salad from Sitka and Spruce, would also be divine. Kale is back in my good graces!
Kale Salad with Parmesan and Pine Nuts
Serves 2
1 large bunch of lacinato kale
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 to 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced or pressed
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Wash and dry the kale. Now strip the ruffly leaves off the kale’s stems by folding the leaves and peeling them away from the stems. Discard the stems. Stack and bunch the leaves together, then use a large, very sharp knife to sliver them as fine as you can. Put the slivered kale in a large bowl.
In a small pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Fry the garlic until fragrant and just on the verge of coloring. Add the salt and vinegar, and stir for another minute as the vinegar sizzles furiously and the whole thing foams and becomes outrageously fragrant. Pour the hot dressing over the kale and toss very thoroughly. Stir in the cheese and pine nuts. Taste for salt and vinegar, and serve.
Adapted from ben and birdy
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