Author Notes: If you want to understand the city of Berkeley, a meal in the restaurant Gather tells you most of what you need to know. It's located in a building with a green roof and solar panels. The restaurant has a "source book" that lists the origin of every item on the menu. They carry four different varieties of locally brewed kombucha. And they're equally renowned for their hamburger and kale salad.
This kale salad is amazing. People aren't just ordering it because it's Berkeley and they don't want to get in trouble with the sustainability police - it's actually good enough to compete with a hamburger.
I go to lunch at Gather with my co-workers at least once a week, and share an office space with some of the restaurant staff. I asked them how they cooked the kale, and was surprised to hear that it's simply boiled for seven minutes. I went from there, riffing the rest of this recipe. - linzarella
- 2 tablespoons salt-packed capers
- 2-4 salt-packed anchovies
- 2 large carrots
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bunch tuscan kale
- 1 lemon
- red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup toasted almonds
- 1-2 ounce ricotta salata
- Rinse the anchovies and capers under running water, then let them soak for 10-30 minutes, or just as long as it takes you to do the rest of the recipe.
- Turn the oven to 450. While it's heating up, cut the carrots into 1/2" thick rounds, on the bias. Toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roast at 450 degrees 15-25 minutes or until nicely browned, turning over the slices once.
- While the carrots are cooking, remove the center ribs from the kale then tear roughly into pieces. Bring a pot of salted water to boil, then boil the kale for seven minutes. Drain and plunge into ice water. When cool, squeeze out the excess moisture and blot dry with a towel.
- When the carrots are done, combine them with the kale and toss them both with two tablespoons of oil. Then grate the zest of the lemon over it. When you're done, squeeze over half the lemon's juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil on a skillet. Drain and pat dry the anchovies and capers. When the oil is shimmering hot, throw in a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, then add the capers and anchovies, and fry until crispy. Top the salad with them, then add the toasted almonds, and thin slices of ricotta salata.