The kale looked so good at the market today and I wanted to offset the guilt (with a salad) for having leftover pizza for dinner. I had garlic, capers, pine nuts, pecorino and the often forgotten sun dried tomato at hand. i think a hint of these flavors work well since kale is the vehicle here. I'm a fool for leafy greens that are minimally dressed. —AndrewInBushwick
Prep the Kale - cut across the bunch in 1" - 2" sections. No stems please. Wash and spin to dry. Set aside. Toast pine nuts in a saute pan or in the oven till a pale pale shade of brown. Set aside.
Mince the garlic. Chop the capers. Heat 1T olive oil (medium heat) in a saute pan and briefly saute the garlic for about a minute till translucent. Add chopped capers and incorporate and heat through. Take off heat and scrape into a mixing bowl. Add the dijon, champagne vinegar and a squeeze of 1/2 a lemon. Whisk and set aside.
Set up a steamer and get the heat on. When the water is hot take away the steamer and dunk the sun dried tomatoes in the water for 3-4 minutes to let them re-hydrate. Pull from the water, cool slightly and then slice into strips. Set aside.
Finish the vinaigrette. Whisk in 1/4 C of evoo into the mixing bowl. The dijon should emulsify this vinaigrette nicely. Taste and adjust with lemon, salt, freshly ground pepper.
This is too much vinaigrette for this dish yet the excess could find its way onto some seared halibut, salmon, arugula - your call.
With the steamer on high add the kale and steam for (3-4) minutes. this happens quickly and - of course - you want the toothsome quality of kale so keep an eye on it!
Remove Kale from the steamer and dump into a large plate and spread out. chill in the fridge.
Conversely I could say shock in a cold water bath yet then you are adding a water element back to the tortured kale - there is only so much time in the day to deal with drying again.
Room temp or chilled kale gets tossed with the tasty vinaigrette (to your taste), a good portion of pine nuts and the sun dried tomatoes. top with a sprinkling of pecorino. I feel pecorino stands up to robust kale.
I can't tell you how to compose this salad to your taste however I love the play of leafy kale to a gutsy vinaigrette to oddly creamy pine nuts. Oh - and the forgotten sun dried tomato...