Kale Salad with Balsamic, Pine Nuts, and Parmesan

Slightly adapted from a Dan Barber recipe that appeared in Bon Appetit in 2009.

Feel free to sub out the pine nuts with toasted slivered almonds, and the dried sweetened cranberries with golden raisins. We use both interchangeably in this salad.

If you are using regular kale instead of dinosaur kale, you might want to let the salad marinate a bit longer, an hour or two, before serving.

  • Prep time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 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 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, packed

Method

1 Toast the pine nuts: 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 Prep the kale: 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.

How to cut the rib from a leaf of kale

3 Make the dressing: In a smaller bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, rice vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper.

4 Dress the kale and toss with nuts and cranberries: 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.

5 Right before serving, stir in the grated Parmesan cheese.