Monday, September 6, 2010

Kale for all Seasons

This weekend was ambiguously seasoned. We were caught with indecision mid-stride—with one foot in summer and the other on its way to fall. There were blueberries and strawberries at the farmer’s market, and the first winter squashes. I ate sliced heirloom tomatoes with salt and olive oil for lunch, and saw my friend off as he went home to make mushroom soup. Coral red and hot pink are giving way to orange and buttery yellow.

It’s that time of year, I guess. I haven’t come to terms with saying goodbye to summer yet, but fall has some nice things to say, and I’m looking forward to it.

So it felt like the right time to make one of my all-time favorite salads that truly is a season-trotter. Because of the hearty kale that grows well in the cold and dark, this salad is the queen of carrying me from the end of summer through to the beginning of winter.

Kale salad with shallots and ricotta salada was first served to me with pork sausage by my dear friend in San Francisco, as a welcome lunch when I flew in from Seattle. Since then, I have made it countless times, across the seasons. I crave it. If I have cooked for you, I have probably made you this salad.

It’s great with sliced radishes and avocados, or alongside any strong dark meat. Perhaps the best thing about it is that it stays tasty days after you dress it. Hard to believe, I know, but it’s true.
Tonight I was lucky enough to share it with my amazing friend Shannon. We ate it with boiled egg, Italian plums, and a 2009 Adelsheim Pinot Gris.

Kale with Shallots and Ricotta Salada
1 bunch lacinato kale
1 ½ T minced shallot
2 t champagne vinegar
¾ t kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
4 oz ricotta salada, grated

  • Wash the kale, remove the spines, and chop into 1 inch squares.
  • Make the dressing: whisk shallots, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Toss kale with dressing and ricotta. Serve or store.


Jonathan said...

sounds delicious!

Kathryn said...

Loved your thoughts on transitioning, your comments are detail oriented, thoughtful, and relaxing.