Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Raw Kale Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

I first ate this at Seester #1's house one Thanksgiving and I was well and truly hooked. There have been weeks where I ate this five days in a row.  Sometimes I wash, dry and prep the kale and then wrap it in a length of paper towel, then store it in a plastic bag.  It will stay fresh for several days.

I most often see this kale labelled as "Dino" because of the pebbled surface of the leaves.  There are many types of kale, but this is my favorite and I can't imagine making this salad with any other type. See: Kale (Wikipedia) and Google Image search for "kale varieties".

Raw Kale Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette
Serves 2 to 4


1 large bunch Tuscan kale (also known as dino, black or lacinato kale), leaves washed and thoroughly dried.
1/4 cup homemade toasted bread crumbs (coarse)
1/2 or 1 medium garlic clove, mashed into a paste
1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese, more for garnish
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 table spoons freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

1. Trim bottoms off of the kale stems (up to the bottom of the leaf) and discard. Stack the leaves (as many as can be handled).  Chiffonade the leaves (crosswise, along the length of the leaves)  into ribbons no wider than linguine pasta. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place kale in a large bowl.

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

3. Transfer garlic to a bowl. Add the cheese, lemon juice, salt, pepper flakes and whisk for about 30 seconds. Add  the oil in a thin stream and whisk until emulsified.  Pour the dressing over the kale and toss very well to thoroughly combine. Add black pepper to taste and toss again.

4. Let salad sit for 5 minutes (I've let it sit for up to 20 minutes), then serve topped with bread crumbs and a dusting of additional 2 tbsp. finely grated cheese. 

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