Confession: I’m becoming rather obsessed with kale. I get edgy if there’s none in the fridge and last week I audibly bristled when I saw it being used as a garnish on the salad bar at Lambert’s Rainbow Fruit in Dorchester- it seemed like such a waste of a good green!
While braising is popular and the kale chip bandwagon seems to be going at full-speed (guilty here), lately I’ve been enjoying kale in its purest state: raw. Yes, you read that right. I know the idea of eating that tough green leaf probably doesn’t sound that appealing, it wouldn’t have been appealing to me if I hadn’t gone to Gennaro when I was in New York a few months ago and learned the secret to excellent kale salad.
Really, it’s quite simple: slice the kale as thinly as possible. This tempers the texture, leaving you with the leaf’s hearty flavor and crunch. And since the leaves are so um, durable, they stand up really well to dressings.
Since there’s roughly 211 miles between my apartment and Gennaro, I’ve had to recreate the salad at home. I like this recipe because it’s so simple and makes me feel like I’m eating healthily, even if I’m having it alongside a steak and potatoes au gratin. Still, should I find myself on the Upper West Side, I’ll be hitting up Gennaro again.
What’s your favorite way/place to enjoy a kale salad?
4-6 medium-sized kale leaves (you want 3 to 4 cups chopped)
5 Tb best-quality olive oil
5 Tb balsamic vinegar
3 Tb sugar
1 Tb grainy mustard
1/4 cup toasted pecan pieces
1/4 cup craisins
In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, sugar and mustard. Set aside. Wash the kale and cut off the tough stem where the leaf ends. Slice the leaf crosswise as thinly as possible. Place in a medium to large-sized salad bowl and add dressing, tossing well. Add pecans and craisins. Toss well and serve.