This is the best kale salad recipe! It’s a copycat of the kale salad from the NYC restaurant Barbuto. After I ate there for the first time, I promptly worked on recreating this amazing salad, and it’s remained one of my favorites for years! It’s rich and delicious yet simple – salty, robust and vibrant.
A couple of tips – it’s best to massage the kale to get the oils and acid into the leaves so they soften. The lemon juice and olive oil further help with the tenderness. Also, I know it seems like a lot of steps below, but trust me, it doesn’t take too long and it’s worth going through each of them. Finally, let the salad sit for a bit before you serve it.
Kale Salad with Pecorino & Breadcrumbs
- ½ cup walnut halves or pieces
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 5 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 bunch Lacinato kale (the thinner, flatter leaf variety), washed and dried, then massaged
- ½ cup Pecorino cheese, grated or ground in a food processor
- Juice of half a lemon
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Walnuts: Heat oven to 350°. Toast walnuts on a baking sheet for 10 minutes, tossing once. Let them cool and coarsely chop.
2. Raisins: In a small saucepan over low heat, simmer white wine vinegar, water and raisins for 5 minutes, until plump and soft. Set aside in the liquid.
3. Breadcrumbs: Toast bread crumbs, garlic and 2 teaspoons of the olive oil in a skillet together with a pinch of salt until golden. Set aside.
4. Kale: Trim heavy stems off kale and remove ribs with a knife. Stack sections of leaves and roll them into a tube, then cut them into very thin ribbons crosswise.
5. Salad: Put kale in a large bowl. Add pecorino, walnuts and raisins (with leftover vinegar mixture in dish), remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil and lemon juice and toss until all the kale ribbons are coated. Taste and adjust seasonings with Kosher salt and pepper, and add breadcrumbs. Let sit for 15 minutes+ before serving.