By Chef Domenica Catelli
A few weeks ago I added a kale salad as an appetizer at my restaurant. It was born from the memory of a salad I had had at Il Buco in New York last year. I was craving kale (yeah, I know that may sound weird but it can happen to you too), and I wanted to create an easy, fresh seasonal option with several levels of flavor. It is Meyer lemon season where I live and we have an abundance of them on our tree. Once I was inspired to use this delicious citrus, the recipe quickly came together.
Since I have added this salad to the Catelli’s menu I have people coming in two to three times a week for it and saying: “I’m addicted to your kale salad.” They are always surprised when I tell them the main ingredient is kale. They are convinced that they are not kale eaters because they think of kale as tough or bitter. The lemon tenderizes the texture and the other flavors balance each other beautifully.
By adding grilled chicken you turn it into a complete meal that is not only delicious but so nutritious. The good news for all of you is you don’t need to travel to my restaurant in California’s wine country to enjoy this. You can make it for yourself tonight!
Easy Kale Salad
1 bunch dinosaur kale, rinsed, dried and cut into ¼-inch strips
2 Meyer lemons (you can substitute regular lemons)
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup grated Parmesan
½ cup of crushed croutons (smash them in bag to bits, but not crumbs)
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
Put kale in a bowl. Squeeze the lemons into the bowl, add the walnuts, cheese, crouton bits, and olive oil. Toss. Taste for salt and pepper.
Add grilled chicken to turn it into a full meal. A good compliment to this kale salad is chicken brushed with pesto.
Until next time, stay fresh and delicious!