Best Kale Salad

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Sometimes the simplest foods are the best. This humble five ingredient salad is one of the best things I know how prepare. It is the salad that is requested night after night, and the one that brings me back to the farmstand every few days to replenish my supply of kale.

With such a simple recipe, ingredients really matter. Use the freshest kale you can find, and pull out your flavorful olive oil. This is all about the contrast of earthy kale, fatty cheese, and acid, with bright punches from Sonoran sea salt. Winter in Tucson brings an abundance of local Meyer lemons which bring a floral perfume to the salad, but it is delicious with whatever citrus or vinegar you have on hand.

Here are my recommendations, but take this as an outline to adapt to what you have in your pantry. Since bunches of kale vary so wildly in size, trust your palate and don’t be stingy with the dressing. In the summer I frequently substitute feta cheese for the pecorino, but fresh or aged goat cheese would also be a welcome addition.

  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, washed and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 Meyer lemon, juiced (or substitute regular lemon, red wine vinegar, or cider vinegar)
  • Healthy glug of olive oil
  • Large pinch of Desert Provisions Sonoran Sea Salt
  • Generous sprinkling of grated pecorino (or substitute feta or goat cheese)

With clean hands, massage kale in a bowl to break down some of the cellulose. Juice lemon over kale and add olive oil, large pinch of Sonoran Sea Salt, and cheese. Toss well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. I like a good punch of acid, followed by hatch green chile salt, and a healthy coating of cheese on each piece of kale. If you can resist, allow the salad to sit for 20 minutes to mellow and give the kale time to soften in the dressing.

 

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