1-2 bunch(es) kale, cut chiffonade style (see chopping directions below)
2 handfuls unsalted, toasted or smoked almonds, finely chopped in a food processor to fine breadcrumb consistency
1/2 cup (or small handful) pre-grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, or grate a small palm-sized wedge of cheese in your food processor, plus additional for garnish
3 garlic cloves, poached in hot milk for 5 minutes to soften the bite of the raw garlic, then finely minced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly squeezed juice of 1-2 lemons
Zest of one lemon (use a small grater or Microplane zester)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch
Directions: Trim the thick white stem from the center of each kale leaf. You can either finely chop it and add it to the salad or save for later use in vegetable stock. Chiffonade the kale leaves in long thin strips, by stacking the leaves on top of one another until you have a healthy stack, then roll into a very tight bundle, it should look like a cigar, and cut the bundle of kale leaves into thin strips. Put in a bowl and set aside.
Take the toasted or smoked almonds, Pecorino or Parmesan cheese wedge put them in a food processor and process until the consistency is like fine breadcrumbs. This is what is going to give your salad a toasty, crunchy texture.
For the dressing whisk the olive oil, garlic, salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, red pepper flake together.
Toss the kale and the dressing together, and then sprinkle all of the nut and cheese crumb over the top, tossing to combine. Let it set in the fridge for at least an hour to bring all the flavors together. Serve chilled or at room temperature. When ready to serve sprinkle a little more of the shredded cheese on top for garnish and flavor.
Feel free to add fresh cherry tomatoes, dried cranberries or apricots, whole nuts or shredded chicken to make it more of an entrée salad.
Welcome to your new addiction. Once I perfected this recipe, I ate nothing but it for 2 weeks straight. ;-)