When me and T were on our mini-honeymoon we stopped at this great little bakery in Weaverville (NC). They had the most amazing confections, as well as a selection of deli lunch options. One of such options was kale salad. I was a little hesitant to try it, but T was intrigued. As it turns out, the kale salad was quite a delight. (Who’dathunkit?) When we got home, I thought I’d try my own version. I think I hit the nail on the head (and maybe even made it better! The bakery version was a little salty for my taste.) This is a great way to eat kale as a snack, or as a side with a sandwich. Read about the awesome nutritional benefits of kale here.
- 1 lb fresh kale, stems removed, finely chopped
- 1 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup almond pieces or slivers, toasted
- 4 TBS olive oil
- 1-2 gloves garlic, smashed
- 1 TBS lemon juice (or juice of one fresh lemon)
- 1/2 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- pepper to taste
- salt, if needed
Smash garlic and place in small bowl with olive oil; let sit while you prepare rest of ingredients.
Wash kale and cut out stems; finely chop leaves. Coarsely chop dried cranberries. Grate cheese.
If you’re not using almonds slivers, place whole almonds in a plastic bag; use a meat mallet, or heavy-bottomed glass to beat the heck out of them until broken into pieces. You can either toast almonds in the oven on a sheet pan at 200° for approximately 20 minutes. Or you can toast in a pan over medium heat until light brown. Be sure to move the almonds around to prevent burning. In either case, you can tell when almonds are toasted by their smell (and taste.)
Remove almonds from heat and let cool.
Place kale, dried cranberries, almonds, cheese, lemon juice, and fresh ground pepper in a large bowl. Remove garlic from olive oil and discard (or set aside for use in another dish.) Drizzle ingredients with olive oil and toss until coated. Serve by itself as a tasty treat, or as a refreshing side with sandwiches or burgers!
By “infusing” the olive oil with the garlic, you get a nice, light garlic flavour without the bite of actual garlic pieces.
If you usually add salt by default, be sure to taste the salad before adding any. Pecorino Romano is a salty cheese and you don’t want to over do it.
Recipe Source: inspired by kale salad at the Well-Bred Bakery in Weaverville, NC