I know what you’re thinking: yuck! raw kale! But I’m here to tell you that this might be the most delicious salad of all time. Out of all of the recipes I make, this one is the most requested. And kale is in season right now, which makes it even better.
I use lacinato kale (also known as Tuscan kale or dinosaur kale) because I think it’s a bit more tender than regular kale, and hence better raw. If you can’t find ricotta salata (a kind of dried, pressed ricotta), you could always use a little Parmigiano-Reggiano or even feta. I think that a bit of dried red chili flakes would be a nice addition to this recipe. I have a friend who adds little bits of bacon to his version of this salad, which also sounds delectable. This recipe was originally published in Gourmet.
1 lb lacinato kale (also called Tuscan or dinosaur kale)
2 tablespoons very finely chopped shallot or 1 garlic clove, very finely minced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 1/2 tablespoons very good quality extra-virgin olive oil
2 ounces coarsely grated ricotta salata (about 1 cup)
- Remove the tough stems from the kale (including the rib that runs up the center of the leaf, if very large). Cut the kale into thin ribbons (chiffonade) by stacking the leaves, rolling them up tightly, and slicing them horizontally into thin strips.
- Combine the shallot or garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil in a thin stream and keep whisking until the oil is incorporated.
- In a large serving bowl, pour the dressing over the kale and toss gently to coat. Add the grated ricotta salata and toss gently again. Taste and correct for salt and pepper if necessary.
Note: this can be made several hours in advance (the kale doesn’t wilt even after being tossed with the dressing)