Kale Salad

Kale is a difficult green to love, and though it’s become a super hip, trendy super food, I still prefer so many other greens. I love spinach, rocket, even watercress. But kale needs some getting used to. I really did enjoy this salad, though, and it was a big hit at our family dinner.

The recipe is from the one of the most highly-rated chefs in the world, Jean-Georges Vongerrichten. It’s a pretty simple, straightforward salad and one that you will find yourself making regularly.

Kale Salad

(Recipe adapted from Jean-Georges Vongerrichten)

  • 12 oz kale leaves, large stems removed and sliced thin into ribbons
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, sliced into ribbons
  • 2 tsp pickle juice (from a bottle of pickled jalapeños)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups croutons
  • 1 green chilli, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the dressing:

  • 4 tbsp fresh juice and 1 tbsp zest from 2-3 lemons (I used limes)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli flakes (or according to taste)
  • 2 cups Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
  • 3/4 cup neutral oil (such as sunflower)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

To make the dressing:

  • Combine lemon juice, lemon zest, vinegar, garlic, mustard, egg yolk, chilli flakes and the cheese in the bowl of a food processor, or a regular bowl. Process until homogenous.
  • With processor running, or with a hand blender, slowly drizzle neutral oil, stopping to scrape down sides if necessary until a smooth emulsion is formed, about 20 seconds.
  • Transfer to a medium bowl. While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in half cup of olive oil.
  • Season dressing with salt and pepper. Refrigerate, while preparing the salad.

To make the croutons:

Heat the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet and toss in the croutons. Toss and stir until golden brown and crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, and season with salt and pepper.

To serve:

Combine the kale, mint and 1/2 cup dressing (or according to taste), and the pickle juice. Toss to coat well and let sit for 3 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with croutons and sliced chillies. Serve immediately.


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