Friday, April 17, 2015 Tuscan Kale Salad with Pear, Pine Nuts, Pecorino Romano & Lemon Vinaigrette

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Tuscan Kale Salad with Pear, Pine Nuts, Pecorino Romano & Lemon Vinaigrette

by Chef Chuck Wiley, Zuzu at the Hotel Valley Ho


Yield:    4-6 servings

2 bunches Tuscan Kale (also known as Lacinado kale)
2-3 Tbsp Butter
1/3 each Baguette (or similar bread) cut into 12 slices
1/3 cup Pecorino Romano, finely grated
1 recipe Lemon Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
To taste Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 lb Ripe tomatoes, cut in bite-size chunks
1 each Pear, cut in ¼ inch batons
¼ cup Pine nuts, toasted

1.    Tear the kale leaves off the tough stems; wash well and dry in a salad spinner. Cut into ¼ inch wide ribbons. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. 

2.    Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread a little butter on each slice of baguette, place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with half the cheese. Bake for 8 minutes or so until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. 

3.    When cool, break the baguette slices into the work bowl of a food processor and pulse until coarse crumbs form.

4.    Dress the kale liberally with the Lemon Vinaigrette; season with a little salt and pepper and gently massage the dressing into the kale. Add the toasted breadcrumbs, tomatoes and pear; toss lightly. 

5.    Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and the pine nuts. 


Lemon Vinaigrette

1 tsp Lemon, zest
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
1/2 each Shallot (about 1 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp Rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup Vegetable oil
To taste Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.    Combine zest, juice, shallot, vinegar, honey and mustard in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the oil slowly to form an emulsion. Season with salt & pepper.