Spicy Kale Salad

Kale is the perfect hearty fall green to use as a base for any seasonal salad. Try this easy option with freshly grated pecorino cheese and red pepper flakes for lunch today!
Spicy Kale Salad

With fall in full swing, it's getting to be kale-eating season, but that doesn't mean you're doomed to plates of over-cooked bitter greens. Try this bright, fresh, and lemony raw kale salad and you may just be wishing it was kale season all the time. The acid in the lemon juice "cooks" the kale, leaving it tender, while the chile flakes, pecorino cheese, and garlicky olive oil are there to make you (and your guests!) go back for seconds.

Adapted slightly from In The Kitchen with a Good Appetite.  Serves 2 as a side. 

What You'll Need:

  • 20 large leaves of tuscan kale (aka cavolo nero, or the flat-leafed kind)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 1/2 a lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
  • 1 slice good quality sourdough bread
  • 1 pinch red chile flakes

What to Do: 

  1. Toast the slice of bread until golden brown, then crush into breadcrumbs using a food processor or crumbling with your hands. Set aside.
  2. Wash and dry the kale leaves. Cut out the center rib and discard. Slice the leaves into thin ribbons and place in a medium bowl.
  3. In a mortar and pestle (or food processor), blend the garlic and olive oil until the garlic is fully smashed. Add the lemon juice, cheese, and chile flakes, and season to taste with salt if needed.
  4. Pour the dressing over the kale, and toss to fully coat the leaves with the dressing.
  5. Top each serving of salad with some of the toasted breadcrumbs and some more grated cheese.
  6. Serve within an hour after dressing it to avoid wilting leaves!

What's your favorite way to enjoy kale? Ever tried it as the base of a salad? Share with us in the comments below!

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