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.
I’m back from my Boulder sojourn, settling back into my Minnesota groove. I learned a lot and am looking forward to sharing some observations, although I’ve realized I needed time to reflect and let things sit for a bit before I’m ready to distill. I dove pretty deep on my past with alcohol and how I’m putting some exciting and healthy new changes in place. I’ve brought some new habits back to Minnesota with me, namely less time on social media, more time outdoors, yoga, and I’ve joined a new gym, which I’m super excited about. And I’m continuing my exploration of meditation to better know all parts of my own mind, even though sometimes I’d rather not. I’ll be putting together a list of the books and ideas I found the most helpful for me.
I’m teaching my Paleo Thanksgiving class tonight at Kitchen in the Market and so looking forward to it! I came up with a pretty fantastic new stuffing/dressing recipe and will share it in a few days, along with a whole Paleo Thanksgiving meal with recipes and shopping list. It feels good to be thinking about recipes again and I’m gearing up to take a whole new batch of photos. I’m also developing meal plans for sale – make sure to following my RSS feed, which will add you to my email list, so you’ll know when I’m ready to launch. And please come to my next class, Paleo Reset, on January 13, 2017!
I hope you’ve been enjoying this stellar fall weather! What a lucky welcome back to Minnesota. I was sad to leave sunny Colorado but the sunshine here has made it so very much easier.
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
1/2 garlic clove
1/4 tsp. kosher salt, plus a pinch
1/4 c. finely grated pecorino cheese, plus additional for garnish
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish
freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1/8 tsp. 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 tsp. 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 c. cheese, 3 Tbsp. oil, lemon juice, a pinch of salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper and whisk to combine.
Pour the dressing over the kale and toss very well to combine thoroughly (the dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat the leaves). 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.