Saturday, July 9, 2011

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad with Pecorino

So this is the other Tuscan kale (aka lacinato kale) salad recipe that I have been wanting to make.  This one comes from Melissa Clark of the NY Times, whose recipes we have tried before a few times with varying degrees of success.  Most recently we made her Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Watercress, Walnuts and Gruyere back in January and her Sake-Steamed Chicken with Ginger and Scallions in March.  I have also bookmarked a few of her other recipes (including a Caramel Rice Flan and a Mango Tres Leches Cake) to try in the future.  All in all, I really enjoy her recipes.  She explores a variety of cuisines, but her recipes are fairly simply and don't call for esoteric ingredients and complicated cooking methods.  Take this salad for instance - none of the ingredients (with the exception of the Tuscan kale, which isn't as easy to find as regular curly kale) are hard to find.  And all you really have to do is chop it all up and toss it together in a bowl.  Done.  And not only is it easy, it's really tasty.  I liked this recipe more than the Lacinato Kale and Ricotta Salata Salad.  I liked the hint of heat from the crushed red pepper flakes and the flavor and texture of the homemade bread crumbs.  I also thought the dressing was better - more lemony by far and the pecorino cheese carries a salty, nutty bite that ricotta salata is lacking.  So I guess now I know what was missing in the other salad - basically everything that this salad had was just one small step better, plus this one added in some bread crumbs.  Two thumbs up for our second attempt at a Tuscan kale salad!

Recipe after the jump!

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad with Pecorino
October 24, 2007

1 bunch Tuscan kale (also known as black or lacinato kale)
1 thin slice country bread (part whole-wheat or rye is nice), or 1/4 cup homemade bread crumbs (coarse)
1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, more for garnish
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for garnish
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Trim bottom 2 inches off kale stems and discard. Slice kale, including ribs, into 3/4-inch-wide ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place kale in a large bowl.

If using bread, toast it until golden on both sides. Tear it into small pieces and grind in a food processor until mixture forms coarse crumbs.

Using a mortar and pestle, or with the back of a knife, pound garlic into a paste. Transfer garlic to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper flakes and black pepper, and whisk to combine. Pour dressing over kale and toss very well to thoroughly combine (dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat leaves).

Let salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with bread crumbs, additional cheese and a drizzle of oil.

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