Raw Tuscan Kale Salad with Pecorino
Adapted from “In the Kitchen With a Good Appetite” by Melissa Clark
You may be tempted here to use already made breadcrumbs instead of making your own, and this is where I implore you to just trust me and make them. It will make a huge huge difference in your salad. If you don’t have a food processor, just try to tear up really small pieces from your bread to make tiny pieces – they’re not quite breadcrumbs in the traditional sense of the word, but what you want here is a slightly crispy outside and a softer inside. When the dressing will get absorbed in there, it’ll be truly amazing!
1 bunch Tuscan kale (also known as black or lacinato kale)
1 thin slice country bread (part whole-wheat or rye is nice), or 1/4 cup homemade bread crumbs (coarse)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, more for garnish
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for garnish
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Trim bottom 2 inches off kale stems and discard, or put into your “stock bag”. Slice kale, including ribs, into 3/4-inch-wide ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place kale in a large bowl.
In a skillet, over medium heat, drizzle a tiny amount of olive oil and using a pastry brush, spread it around in a thin layer. Toast the bread until golden on both sides. Tear it into small pieces and pulse in a food processor until mixture forms coarse crumbs.
Using a mortar and pestle, or with the back of a knife, pound garlic into a paste, and transfer it to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper flakes and black pepper, and whisk to combine. Pour dressing over kale and toss very well to thoroughly coat all the kale ribbons (Because dressing will be thick you will need to do a lot of tossing to make sure it’s coating all the ribbons).
Allow the salad to sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with bread crumbs, additional cheese and a drizzle of oil.
Serves 2 to 4, but in our household, it’s most definitely 2.