Monday, March 17, 2014

(the best) kale salad.

My mom and I have always shared the same sentiment that salads made by other people are infinitely better then salads made by yourself.   

Until now.  

This salad has changed everything. I simply can't get enough of.  I dream about it and find myself wondering if time somehow manages to slow down on the days I bring it for lunch.  

The combination of sweet currants, nuts, crunchy croutons, and creamy cheese ensures that each bite has a wide variety of textural contrasts which is the key (in my humble opinion) to a great salad.  One that you keep returning to bite after bite.  Oh and a stellar dressing helps to.  This one is a tart mustardy vinaigrette that manages to keep things oh so interesting.  

(The Best) Kale Salad

Serves 2 Generously 

The other key to kale salads is to dress the salad at least an hour before you are ready to eat it.  The dressing helps to soften and tenderize the leaves.  I've been known to dress it before I leave for work and it's perfect hours later which ensures this is an utterly flexible recipe.  

1 bunch Tuscan (aka lacinato) kale, washed and thinly sliced (about 7 cups)
1/3 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
Generous 1/3 cup currants
1/2 cup ricotta salata or feta, crumbled
2 cups cubed bread, toasted for croutons
Salt and pepper

For the Dressing

4 1/2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons honey
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

To make the dressing:  Place all of the ingredients in a jar with a lid.  Shake to combine the ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary.  Set aside.

Place the kale, almonds, currants, and crumbled ricotta salata in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine.  Allow the salad to rest for at least at hour at room temperature.  When ready to serve toss in the croutons.  Divide among two plates.  

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