He poked at the kale and said, “It looks great, but… why is the kale raw?”
“Because, it’s a salad,” I replied.
“But, Dinosaur Kale is so good cooked,” he said as he began to eat the roasted butternut squash, almonds and cheese from the top of the salad.
“Its good raw too…at least it’s good raw in this salad….stop eating all of the toppings!”
I gave my husband my serving of Beautiful Five Bean Stew and took what was left of his kale salad. Between bites of salad, I explained to my husband that I had bookmarked this salad on Food 52 (where all the cool food bloggers swap recipes) and that it was from a restaurant called Northern Spy (where the cool kids eat out)…. AND THEN, right after I bookmarked it, my friend Boo (who is majorly cool) brought this same salad to a party and all of the very cool people at the party loved it! My husband as unmoved by the peer pressure of it all. He will not eat raw dinosaur kale no matter who is doing it.
I came home from work the next day and my husband informed me that he had sautéed some of the leftover kale salad. He said that it was delicious cooked. I ate the last of the leftover salad this morning sautéed with scrambled eggs and I have to admit that this it was indeed amazing cooked. You should try this salad. All of the cool kids are eating it, some of them are eating it cooked. Either way it is just about the most healthful and delicious thing I have eaten in a long time and I eat REALLY well!
This salad can be made in advance without wilting, making it a perfect thing to pack for lunches or make ahead for a dinner party. Boo served this salad to my husband and I again more recently, only she used regular kale and she massaged it a bit to soften it up. My husband pronounced Boo’s raw kale to be totally delicious, so next time I will follow her lead.
NORTHERN SPY KALE SALAD
- 1/2 cup peeled and cubed butternut squash or sliced and unpeeled kabocha pumpkin (I used more squash than this).
- extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 bunch regular or dinosaur kale, ribs removed and finely sliced.
- 1/4 cup toasted almonds cut roughly in half ( again I threw in more)
- 1/4 cub crumbled or finely chopped aged cheddar (Boo used very expensive aged goat cheese and I used my favourite goat gouda from midnight moon. Whatever cheese you choose, it should be aged and sharp)
- Fresh Lemon juice (Boo and I both used A LOT more than the original recipe called for, maybe 2 lemons?)
- Pecorino (or other hard cheese for shaving) I made big shaves with a vegetable peeler, Boo did a nice fine dusting of finely grated cheese. Boo’s technique was better in my opinion.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the squash with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread the squash in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until tender and caramelized. Stir every 10 minutes or so. Mine were done in 20 minutes but it could take up to 40. Boo roasted her pumpkin in slices with the peels still on and then cubed them up peel and all for the salad. The peel actually has a nice nutty flavour!
- If your almonds are not already toasted, spread them on a clean baking sheet and put them in the oven with the roasting squash for about 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, toss the kale with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and massage the greens to soften them up.
- Add the almonds, squash and aged cheddar or goat cheese and toss to combine.
- Garnish with a fine shavings of pecorino before serving.