Kale Salad with Fried Pear Chips and Toasted Walnuts

By Bevi
September 14, 2011
14 Comments


Author Notes: I love the kale salad at Five Leaves, a great little restaurant in Greenpoint. The kale is finely julienned and so the other flavors of the salad, to me, are better enjoyed. I don't even remember what the components of the Five Leaves salad are, but the other taking off point for me was thinking about making pear chips, and adding in a little toasted and sweetened walnut. Use your nicest vinegar to make the vinaigrette. This is a great, special salad brightened by the crunch of the pear chips.Bevi

Serves: 4 portions

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch kale, or greens of your choice for 4 servings. I use dino kale for this recipe.
  • 1 Pear, under ripe ( I used a Bartlett)
  • Canola or vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 handful walnuts
  • 3 pinches brown sugar
  • 1 handful Cheese, grated finely (Pecorino or Grana Padano)
  • 1/2 pint very sweet cherry tomatoes (I used Sungold)
  • 1 capful champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Anchovy paste
  • salt and pepper as needed

Directions

  1. Prepare the kale: wash the leaves and dry thoroughly. Remove the spine from each leaf. Line the leaves up and finely julienne the kale. Place in a large salad bowl and set aside.
  2. Prepare the pear. Do not peel. Use a mandoline to very thinly slice the pear, adjusting the thickness to your liking. A very thin slice will produce a crispy chip when it is fried, whereas a thicker slice will be crispy on the edges, but somewhat juicy and flavorful in the inside of the slice. I used both thicknesses to compare the difference. Dry the slices with a paper towel before frying.
  3. Place enough canola or vegetable oil in a large frying pan to cover both sides of the pear slices. Allow the oil to sizzle, and then fry the pear slices in batches, making sure to watch them carefully. Adjust the heat as needed so the oil does not get smokey. The fried slices should be a golden brown color. Place on paper towels. After a few minutes, very lightly salt at least a few of the slices.
  4. Prepare the vinaigrette. Mix the olive oil, vinegar, and anchovy paste. Add a little bit of ground pepper. Taste and adjust as needed.
  5. Place the walnuts on a parchment paper - lined pan with a few sprinklings of brown sugar. Toast for about 5 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure they do not burn. When you pull them out of the toaster oven, toss the walnuts around in any liquified sugar. Let cool.
  6. Assemble the salad. Pour the vinaigrette into the kale and toss. Add the walnuts and the cheese, and toss again very lightly.
  7. To serve, plate the salad on individual serving dishes, and place the pear chips on the salad. Toss a few cherry tomato halves around the plate.

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Reviews (14) Questions (0)

14 Comments

Georgetown-DC January 19, 2013
How far in advance can the pear chips be made? Do you think the day before would be alright or would they loose their texture? I try to do whatever I can in advance, especially if company is coming, not only to ensure I am prepared but also to get the house free of "fried" smells, etc. This salad looks yummy and want to serve it next weekend with your fantastic looking Lemon and Onion Roasted Chicken!
 
Author Comment
Bevi April 15, 2013
I am so sorry I missed this. My notifications were on the fritz for awhile. I would make the pear chips the same day, just before salad assembly.
 
BlueKaleRoad September 15, 2011
I'm crazy about kale and this is a gorgeous way to showcase it. And pear chips...oh my!
 
Author Comment
Bevi September 15, 2011
Thanks BKR!
 
lapadia September 14, 2011
Oh my, love the pear chips and the magazine worthy photo!
 
Author Comment
Bevi September 14, 2011
Thank you lapadia! You are too kind.
 
lapadia September 15, 2011
Seriously! I must invest in a mandoline (own just about everything else) an get with all the cool ways of preparing fruits and veggies! Not to mention that I have always had an obsession with living in Vermont or Maine...have never been, and have NO clue why?
 
lapadia September 15, 2011
"and" get with all the cool ways etc. darn program, can't correct mistakes! hahaha
 
Author Comment
Bevi September 15, 2011
I love my mandoline, but am deathly afraid of it. It sounds like you need to take a trip East. I have got a nice little place for guests - let me know!
 
lapadia September 15, 2011
:) I will keep that guesthouse in mind, Bevi!
 
lapadia April 17, 2013
This photo is still magazine worthy and I still haven't been back east!!! :) (PS-I am not receiving f52 comment notices)
 
Author Comment
Bevi September 14, 2011
And while I was making them I thought a few would be delicious stuck in a scoop of salted honey or pear ice cream, or inside a grilled cheese sandwich - yes, INSIDE a sandwich.
 
aargersi September 14, 2011
Beautiful! Now I want a fried pear chip desperately!!!
 
Author Comment
Bevi September 14, 2011
They are tasty!