Kale Salad with Balsamic, Pine Nuts, and Parmesan
The salad includes fresh raw lacinato kale leaves, cut into thin strips, dried sweetened cranberries, toasted pine nuts, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and a vinegar-rich balsamic vinaigrette, sweetened with a little honey.Yield: Serves 6 to 8
|1/4 cup||dried sweetened cranberries, chopped (or whole golden raisins or currants)|
|1/3 cup||pine nuts (can substitute slivered almonds)|
|1 pound||fresh lacinato kale (also called tuscan kale or dinosaur kale), about 2-3 bunches, rinsed and patted dry|
|1/4 cup||balsamic vinegar|
|3 tablespoons||olive oil|
|1 tablespoon||seasoned rice vinegar|
|1/4 cup||grated Parmesan cheese, packed|
1 Heat a small skilled on medium high heat. Spread the pine nuts in an even layer on the bottom of the pan, cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Then remove to a bowl to allow to cool. Hint when toasting nuts: do not take your eyes off of them! Nuts can go from browned to burned very quickly.
2 Use a sharp knife to cut out the tough midrib of each kale leaf, and discard or compost. Slice the leaves crosswise into thin, 1/4 inch wide, slices. The easiest way to do this is to work with a small bunch of leaves at a time, stack the leaves and roll them into a loose cigar shape. Then using a sharp knife, work from one end of the "cigar" to the other, slicing a 1/4 inch off from the end. Place the kale slices into a large bowl.
3 In a smaller bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, rice vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper. A half hour to an hour before serving, toss the kale together with the toasted pine nuts, the dried cranberries, and the dressing, allowing the kale to marinate a bit. Right before serving, stir in the grated Parmesan cheese.