As a kid I hated anything green. I remember pretending to eat my Brussels sprouts and cleverly spitting them into my napkin in the midst of a well-faked sneeze. My parents eventually caught on to my anti-vegetable protest and watched me like a psych ward patient on a 24 hour watch. My plan was foiled. I had to swallow.
As the years progressed, so did my food palette. Green eventuated from enemy to frenemy to friend. Last year, my college buddy and besty Jonel came to the farm for the weekend and brought along a Tupperware container filled to the brim with home made kale chips. OMG! Crunchy AND good for you? Really? Since then, I’ve become a perpetual fan of kale, using it in various ways in the kitchen. Most recently, I created a recipe for a kale and bacon salad that simply put, brings kale to a whole new level. Make it, share it and smile. Kale yes!
Kale & Bacon Salad
1 bunch kale
1/4 cup homemade bread crumbs
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
½ cup cooked and crumbled bacon (5 strips)
1 medium garlic clove, pasted
1/4 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, more for garnish
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for garnish
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
1. Trim bottom 2 inches off kale stems and discard. Slice kale, excluding ribs, into 1/2-inch-wide ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups and set aside.
2. Toast bread until golden on both sides. Place in food processor until mixture forms coarse crumbs.
3. Toast pine nuts in skillet with drizzle of olive oil until golden brown and set aside.
4. In skillet, cook 5 strips of bacon, drain fat and cool on paper towels. Once cooled, crumble/cut and set aside.
5. With the back of a knife, crush garlic into paste. Combine garlic, cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper flakes and black pepper. Drizzle dressing over kale and toss very well with pine nuts and bacon.
6. Let salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with bread crumbs, additional cheese and drizzle of olive oil.
Yield: 2 to 4 servings.