Salad

This Restaurant-Style Kale Salad Will Change Your Mind About Kale Salad

Thanks to one simple trick.

April 22, 2019

It’s not uncommon to feel as if you’ve seen every rendition of kale salad that exists. I’d certainly felt similarly for years—until recently, when I had the kale salad at Haven’s Kitchen, an all-day cafe/event space/cooking school/all around food lover’s paradise.

This isn’t just another kale salad recipe. It changed my mind about kale salad. What makes it stand out is the clever technique that instantly transforms it into something extraordinary...or should I say eggstraordinary? (Because all you need are a couple eggs.)

“I freaked. Honestly! It’s so simple,” said Ali Cayne, owner of Haven's Kitchen, when she first learned of the clever method. “I'd never done it or heard of it, and it was mind-blowing.”

Before you make any assumptions, know that this isn’t your typical put-a-fried-egg-on-top move. In this case, the lightly crisped, runny yolked eggs don’t go on the salad. They go in the salad.

This isn’t just another kale salad recipe. It changed my *mind* about kale salad.

Once the chopped greens are dressed and the salad is tossed with pretty much anything you like, a couple fried eggs go right on top. A second vigorous mix with a pair of tongs, allows the yolks to mix with the vinaigrette creating a rich, viscous dressing similar to a Caesar, only way easier.

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Top Comment:
“I s a vicious dressing really what you want? When I see "restaurant style" kale salad I think cheese, tons of oil, excess salt etc.- this recipe pretty much delivers-no bacon grease, anyway. I don't engage in this stuff myself, but doesn't this rather go against the reasons that people eat kale salad in the first place? ”
— Smaug
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“The egg yolks help bind the salad together,” explained Haven's Kitchen Chef Adi Fracchia, who’d relied on this pro-tip at home while craving a “yummy and satisfying but secretly healthy” dinner, but only had a few minutes to cook.

In addition to being the magical ingredient in the creamy dressing, the warmth of the eggs wilt the kale slightly, tenderizing it without having to do a pre-dressing oil massage that many recipes suggest, not to mention they speckle the salad with little bits of salty fried eggs.

The salad was such a hit with the Haven’s Kitchen staff that it occasionally appears on the seasonally rotating menu in the super-chic cafe. But the salad hasn’t just won the hearts of the HK crew and bustling cafe goers, it’s also a favorite of Cayne’s children.

“They love eggs and the adventure of a fun dish that they get to hunt for stuff in. So finding the bits of fried egg white and cheese is fun for them,” says the mother of five. “They also love breadcrumbs when I have the bandwidth to make them.”

You can make Chef Adi’s version with quick-pickled onions and garlicky thyme-flecked breadcrumbs or try the technique with a version of your own. And since the salad is so versatile, you can make it as simple or as sophisticated as you like.

“Sometimes I just toss with olive oil, Parm, lemon zest, and Maldon," added Cayne. "The yolk does the rest.”

How do you make your kale salad? Tell, tell in the comments!
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1 Comment

Smaug April 22, 2019
I s a vicious dressing really what you want? When I see "restaurant style" kale salad I think cheese, tons of oil, excess salt etc.- this recipe pretty much delivers-no bacon grease, anyway. I don't engage in this stuff myself, but doesn't this rather go against the reasons that people eat kale salad in the first place?