Friday, January 10, 2014

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad with Pecorino + Roasted Chicken

Kale is my best food friend. I jumped on the train a few years ago and don't plan on hopping off anytime soon. Mark was not as enamored with this leafy green power food when I first started making kale chips but he is finally coming around. I've been using kale in our salads instead of the usual arugula, baby greens and romaine and it is a wonderful change! Kale leaves are much thicker than other lettuces and not only do you not need as much dressing, but there is no need to waste the extra because leftover kale salad is SO GOOD. Gone are the days of soggy, second day salad. 

In addition to being delicious, kale is one of the healthiest plants you can eat. It's packed with tons of calcium, antioxidants and vitamins A, C and K. Kale chips are an excellent snack! In addition to salads and chips, I also frequently saute kale in good olive oil with some fresh garlic, salt and pepper. So simple, tasty and melty in your mouth all kinds of green goodness. 

This salad is my new addiction. I have made some version of it for my lunches all this week and on Sunday, I may just make a giant batch of it for next week. The flavors are pure and simple, and you really could add anything you want. I originally planned on making a kale salad with lemon pepper chicken, but this New York Times recipe was calling my name. I added shredded roasted chicken thighs for a complete meal.

Kale, I love you.

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad with Pecorino
recipe adapted from The New York Times

1 large bunch of Kale
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 large clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more for garnish
3 Tablespoons Pour Olive Picholine Extra Virgin Olive Oil or other robust good quality Extra Virgin
Juice of one lemon, freshly squeezed
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Trim bottom two inches off kale stems and discard. Slice kale, including ribs, into thin ribbons. This recipe says you should have 4-5 cups. I filled up a large salad bowl. 

Heat olive oil in a small pan. Add panko and cook until nice and toasted. 

In a small bowl, whisk pecorino, olive oil, lemon, salt, red pepper flakes and pepper. Pour over kale and toss to coat the kale. Let salad sit for a few minutes and serve with toasted panko and more pecorino. 

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