Raw Tuscan Kale Salad With Chiles & Pecorino (Gluten-free)
This is now a classic kale salad, first published several years ago, back when kale salads were kinda new and weird. It’s still one of my very favorites for being simple, clean and bright, and just salty and rich enough to be memorable.
It holds its own next to a beefy steak or humble roast chicken, sturdy enough to mingle and even improve with the juices of either.
Not everyone loves greens soaked in lemon and meat juices BUT I DO. Yum.
This is a rare salad that improves with sitting (hold the bread crumbs for serving) so it works beautifully in a big batch. Therefore…make a big batch!
Lunch it up with tuna salad, grilled or smoked salmon, hard-cooked eggs, baked tofu, or leftover roasts. That makes this salad a total win for you Project Vibrancy Macro Reset peeps.
I’ve returned from my summer adventure out west and am settling back into life in Minneapolis. I have been buried looking for an apartment and working, but I swear I’ll do a recipe round-up post once I get settled.
And I’m gearing up for offering fall batch-cooking classes as well. I’ve missed cooking with you!
I had the great pleasure of co-hosting The Weekly Dish with Stephanie March last week. We talked about my Free Fall Macro Appetite Reset, as well as the lovely dinner we had at Cardamom at The Walker, as well as all the fun fall food happenings coming up in the next weeks. Fall in Minnesota is so delicious! Definitely have a listen right here.
It’s not one bit too late to jump into the Reset if you’re ready to move past Covid comfort eating and desserts and back to healthier eating (and not feeling like snacking all the damn time). Click here to hop in!
Have a fabulous week.
I was lucky to receive a particularly lovely cookbook for Christmas: In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite by Melissa Clark. I’m a big fan of the simple, flavorful recipes in her A Good Appetite column for the New York Times dining section, and this book delivers more of the same. We appear to share a love for topping just about any savory dish with a fried egg—in my opinion, the secret to a happy life.
Eggs aside, I was immediately drawn to this raw kale salad. Lacinato (also knows as black, Tuscan, or dino) kale makes a delicious do-ahead salad. The acid in lemon juice or vinegar actually improves the kale, making it possible to set a green salad on a buffet table and not fret as it wilts.
Not that it will have much time to wilt—trust me, this salad will be devoured wherever you take it. It has enough tang, salt, and bite to chase away chilly evenings and the skepticism of those who wrongly think that they don’t like kale.
Raw Tuscan Kale Salad with Chiles and Pecorino
Adapted from In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite by Melissa Clark
1 bunch Tuscan Kale (aka black or lacinato), ribs removed, sliced thinly, about 4-5 cups
1 thin slice gluten-free bread (or substitute toasted pine nuts or pepitas)
1/2 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
1/4 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, plus additional for garnish
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the kale in a large bowl.
Toast the bread until golden on both sides. Tear it into small pieces and grind in a food processor until the mixture forms coarse crumbs.
Using a mortar and pestle or a heavy knife, pound or mince the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a paste (if using a knife, use the side to smear and smush the garlic once it’s minced). Transfer the garlic to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, a pinch of salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper and whisk to combine.
Pour the dressing over the kale and using your hands, rub the dressing into the kale. Let the salad sit for 5 minutes (Note: Or up to an hour), then serve topped with the bread crumbs, additional cheese, and a drizzle of oil.