Tuesday, November 18, 2014

From the Kitchen: Kale Salad

Kale seems to be the "it" vegetable these days.  It has lots of great health benefits, but honestly I couldn't really get over the slightly bitter flavor and the "sturdy" texture...until I tried this salad recipe.  I took this salad over to a friend's house for dinner with another couple, and it changed all 4 of our opinions of kale (we were skeptics before)!  I think the key is massaging the dressing into the kale using your hands, and letting the salad sit, dressed, for at least 10 minutes before serving.  I actually dressed the salad before the 20 minute drive to their house, and it was perfect (whereas normal salad would be soggy by then!)

Pecorino Kale Salad

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen


1 bunch kale, washed and dried
1/2 cup walnut pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 ounces pecorino cheese, grated
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of half a lemon


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Place the walnuts on a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for 10 minutes, tossing once halfway through.  Allow the nuts to cool and chop.

Mix the panko bread crumbs on a foil-lined cookie sheet with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt. Toast in the oven for 3-5 minutes or until golden.

In a mason jar, mix together the white wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon olive oil, and juice of half a lemon.  Add kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper, and shake the jar to combine the ingredients.

Prepare the kale; use a knife to cut the leaves off of the tough stem, and discard the stems.  Stack the leaves, roll them up, and use a knife to cut them into very thin strips (like you would chiffonade herbs).

Put the kale into a large salad bowl.  Add the grated pecorino cheese, toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, and dressing, and use your hands to "massage" the dressing into the kale and ensure it is thoroughly coated.  Allow the salad to sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

When ready to serve, add the breadcrumbs and give the salad a final toss.

Since kale is so sturdy, any leftovers will keep for at least a day, even after it is dressed!

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