A Warm Kale Salad

Say hello to Lacinato Kale 

Most of us think about salad as cold and crisp.I’m a big fan of taking something traditional and find a way to do the opposite of what is expected- as long as it tastes great. This idea came from something my wife loves to make and I have adapted it as a regular course for many of our dinners. This type of kale is also known as Tuscan kaleTuscan cabbageItalian kaleDinosaur kalecavolo neroblack kaleflat back cabbagepalm tree kale, or black Tuscan palm.

What if you reinvent the idea of a cold salad and turn up the heat?
Here is a recipe for something counter intuitive- a warm salad. Like most recipes, I’ll provide you with the basics but please improvise by adding those things that you love.


Pan saute leeks, bok choy and lacinato kale

  1. Finely chop about a half cup of leeks and pan sauté in olive oil on a medium heat.
  2. Wash the bok choy and pat dry. Cut the crunchier white section and separate it from the green leaf.
  3. As the leeks get golden brown, add the whiter/crunchier to the pan.
  4. Another options is to add sauteed shitake mushrooms. You can saute them along with the leeks. 
  5. Cook for about 3 minutes on medium heat.
  6. Take the kale and take out the rib and coarsely chop the leaves.
  7. Add the bok choy green leaves along with the kale leaves to the sauté pan.
  8. When the greens are finished, you can add dried cranberries (craisins) or other dried fruit (apricot, mission figs or dried cherries).
  9. Go nuts. Add pecans or walnuts as a topper. 
  10. Take a few small pieces of goat cheese and add it to the top once plated.

 This warm salad needs no dressing. In this meal, I made some simple scrambled eggs with a little cherve topped with fresh tarragon. Fingerling potatoes sautéed in butter are the perfect sidekick. This warm salad is a perfect base for interesting grilled grouper or salmon. It is the perfect way to enjoy a healthy and nutritious meal and won’t leave you out in the cold.

A warm kale salad, scrambled eggs with goat cheese and tarragon and fingerling potatoes
A few kale tips and a cold kale salad with sardines. (my wife Ra El's idea- I don't eat sardines)

After washing the Lacinato kale leaves, take a sharp knife and cut away the rib. 

You can chop the greens and toss some heirloom cherry tomatoes, avocado and a light balsamic vinaigrette. Serve the sardines on cream cheese on crackers. 

Warm kale salad or cool kale salad. Cook differently. 

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