The particular sort of kale we got this week, Russian Red, has a reputation for being relatively tender so I looked around for recipes where I could use it raw. Raw kale salads were kind of a foodie trend last year so there are a fair number of recipes littering the web. I settled on one that I found on the Bitten blog where it says it's credited to Kim Severson from the New York Times. But a little research turned up that it appeared in the January 2007 issue of Gourmet where it's credited to Lillian Chou and described as "inspired by an antipasto that's popular at New York City's Lupa." I know you don't actually care about any of that stuff, but I'm a librarian so I'm picky about correct attribution even as I stretch the bounds of fair use of other peoples' intellectual property.
1 1-pound bunch tender kale, trimmed and stemmed
1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 2 Tablespoons)
juice of 1 meyer lemon (about 1 1/2 Tablespoons)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup ricotta salata (or feta. Anything semi-firm and salty, really. I used the 1-year aged farmers cheese that screwed up my salt cod dish last week.), crumbled or coarsely grated
1. Roll up the kale leaves and thinly shred.
2. Whisk together shallot, lemon juice, salt (not a lot) and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil.
3. Toss kale and cheese with the just enough dressing to coat well in a large bowl. Check and adjust seasoning.
I added some small-diced tomato which I think added some pleasant brightness. Some pine nuts for crunch would be nice too, but I'm all out.
The salad has a lovely combination of light freshness and hearty earthiness as each bite fades from the dressing to the kale as you chew. And it is a bit chewy-- this is kale not baby spinach--but not at all excessively so. I found both flavor aspects to be great pairings with sirloin tip. I wouldn't want to actually add meat to the salad, though; it stands very well on its own. If you wanted to add something to make it a little heartier, maybe hard boiled egg?