I was never a big fan of kale until a couple of years ago. We had grown the curly kale variety in our garden about 3yrs ago and I just never enjoyed it, but the chickens did. The next year I was making a soup that called for Tuscan kale. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it wasn’t a curly leaf, but instead a beautiful dark blueish leaf with a smooth, swiss chard like texture. Tuscan kale can also be called lacinato kale, dinosaur kale, palm tree kale and I’m sure there are other nicknames.
I have made a few observation about this salad. Spend the extra money and get a nice olive oil, it’s a big part of the flavor. I used panko bread crumbs instead of making my own, I like the texture of the panko. I also shredded my cheese and didn’t use grated. Don’t be afraid to make it your own.
I found a great video from Dr. Weil on the preparation of this salad.
True Food Kitchen’s Tuscan Kale Salad
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Juice of 1 lemon
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (nice quality)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Dried red chili flakes to taste
4 to 6 cups Tuscan kale (cavolo nero) that has been washed, patted dry, midrib removed, loosely packed, sliced, see cook’s notes
2/3 cup grated Pecorino Toscano cheese, divided use, see cook’s notes
1/2 cup freshly made bread crumbs, lightly toasted
Cook’s notes: Remove the central rib by cupping fingers over the stem then moving toward the tip of the leaf. Stacking several de-ribbed leaves together, by folding the leaves in half one direction, then in half the other direction. Then cut the “package” into 1/4-inch wide crosswise slices.
As for the cheese, the Rossellino brand of Pecorino is preferred. But if you can’t find it other flavorful grating cheese can be used, such as Asiago or Parmesan.