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Kale is like one of those friends who you don't think about much, but when you do see him, you're always delighted and a little surprised by how much you like him. This was the case the other evening when I had dinner at Co. in Manhattan. Co. is known for its pizza not its greens, but like many of the new-wave pizza places in New York, its antipasti menu easily rivals its pizza. I ordered the kale salad with apples, roasted celery root and brown rice vinegar, and was reminded how much I love the mineral and earth and gutsiness of kale.
At home, I opted out of roasting celery root, and instead subbed in toasted hazelnuts. And on a whim, I added some mustard greens and pecorino cheese. Use any ratio of kale to mustard you like; or use just one kind of green if you can't be bothered buying both. Young greens are best because they're more tender and sweet. Pull the leaves from the stems, then tear the leaves into pieces.
A hidden advantage of this salad is that it gets better with a little time to sit and relax. If you make it ahead, proceed through step 1 and let it sit for up to 30 minutes, then finish it up -- and feel both organized and virtuous.
Kale Salad with Apples and Hazelnuts
- 5 cups curly kale and mustard green leaves, torn into small pieces
- 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced on the bias
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
- Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 tart apple
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped and toasted
- 1/4 cup pecorino romano or parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler
1. In a large bowl, combine the kale, mustard greens, scallions, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands to really blend the dressing and rub it into the greens. Let the salad sit while you prepare the rest.
2. Core the apple. I like to do this with a melon baller. Thinly -- like, super thinly -- slice the two halves from stem to flower end. If you have a mandoline, that's the easiest way to go. Add the apples to the salad and gently fold together so they don't break in half. Taste and adjust seasonings.
3. Spread the salad on a platter. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and cheese shavings.