Kale and Ricotta Salata Salad

By on July 31, 2013
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Alright, I know many of you out there still think kale belongs as decoration on a salad bar…but I promise this recipe will change your mind. One bite is all it will take to transform all you kale-haters. It starts with an unbelievably simple rule. Marinate the damn kale! Kale, as you may have experienced, is a very sturdy, woody green. Where other greens will wilt when left sitting in dressing or lemon juice for hours, kale will only get better! Marinating it will help break down the fibrous leaves so even the strongest of kale-haters will be kale-converts. Ok, so the salad.

I went to dinner at Soho House in Hollywood and everyone was raving about the kale salad…it sounded so simple that I didn’t believe it could be that good. I was wrong. It was that good. So naturally, I went home and attempted to replicate it the next day. I have to say…it was really easy. The original salad had large bread crumbs which were delicious, but I substituted some lightly breaded baked chicken bits to serve as my little croutons. Definitely a good choice!

Try it and get creative with it! It’s such a simple salad you can add your own twist to it. This really is THE EASIEST SALAD of all time! I’m not kidding. There are 5 base ingredients, which stand alone deliciously, but I recommend adding some sort of protein as well to help keep you full longer.

Easy and Delicious Kale Salad

Here’s What You’ll Need:

♦ 1 bunch of lacinato aka “dino” kale aka “Tuscan” kale ( whatever you want to call it, it has long flat leaves that are less curly than typical kale)

♦ 2 tbsp lemon juice

♦ 1 tbsp olive oil

♦ a handful of coarsely chopped ricotta salata (or however much you want, really)

♦ dash of salt

♦ handful of large bread crumbs or croutons or use breaded chicken below

For the Chicken Bites (optional, you could also used breaded tofu if you’re vegetarian):

♦ one large skinless boneless chicken breast or 2 smaller ones

♦ 1/4 cup egg whites and 1 egg

♦ 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

♦ whole wheat bread crumbs mixed with a little salt & garlic powder

Kale and Ricotta Salata Salad | Healthy Recipes @CaliCooking.com

 

Here’s What You’ll Do:

1. Wash & dry your kale leaves, then cut out the thick rib in the middle and discard. Roll up all the leaves into a cigar shape and chop them up thinly. I like smaller bites of kale, but not so small that you can’t scoop them up on a fork!

2. Throw the kale leaves in a big ziplock bag or bowl and add the lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Shake up the bag and mix really well, even get in there with your hands and massage the kale for a minute, it helps break down the bitterness & tough texture. Then let it sit for at least 2 hours, or overnight if you’re making it for the next day.

3. When you’re ready to make the salad, plate the kale and add the ricotta salata and breadcrumbs and voila you’re done! See, I told you that was easy. Now add some sort of protein cuz you’re looking a little skinny.

4 (optional). If you’re going with the chicken option, preheat the oven to 400F. Chop up the chicken into little bite size pieces, toss with the flour, then give those nugs a little egg bath and then proceed roll them around in the bread crumbs until coated. Throw them on a foil covered baking sheet and bake for 3 minutes, then shake them around, and bake for another 3 minutes. Depending on the size of your chicken bites, they may need more or less time. I advice you check on them and cut one open to see. If it’s pink keep it cooking. If it’s not pink at all but it’s still juicy that’s perfect! If it’s completely white meat and no juice left…then you’ve overcooked it…sorry please try again.

5. Toss those little nuggets on the salad and enjoy! You’re welcome body.

 

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