I cannot get enough of this kale and arugula salad. I love it on so many levels. It is extremely versatile. Top it with a poached egg and bacon pieces (lardons) and you have a take on the classic French Salade Lyonnaise. I have also added pieces of crispy proscuitto….how do I get it crispy? Tear into pieces and bake for a few minutes in a 300 degree oven. You can also change the flavor profile by changing the cheese…..blue cheese with bacon pieces is incredible.
There are so many different kinds of kale. My favorite for salads is the Tuscan or Lacinato Kale but the others work. The secret to a kale salad is working the vinaigrette into the kale and letting it stand for at least 15 minutes. When you first make this salad, you will think there is not enough dressing. Trust me, for your 8 cups of greens, it is perfect. Use your hands to massage the vinaigrette into the kale….the sturdier the kale (i.e. curly kale), the more you massage and let stand. It is also very good the next day. Perfect salad for company because you can do it ahead!!!
BREAD CRUMB CROUTONS
SALT AND PEPPER
HERBES de PROVENCE or DRIED SAVORY or your favorite
Pull or slice bread into chunks. Add to food processor fitted with steel blade….do not overload. Process on and off until there are crumbs + bigger pieces. It is all about being uneven. Remove to mixing bowl and complete with remaining bread. Season with salt, pepper and herbes of choice (not too heavy with the herbs) . Drizzle with olive oil. Toss well to incorporate. Transfer to sheet pan. Bake in preheated 300 degree oven for about 20 minutes….stirring once or twice. The time required in the oven totally depends on the freshness of the bread. They just need to be crisp when done. Cool. Store in screwtop jar….Keeps for weeks in your pantry…I am never without them.
KALE & ARUGULA SALAD with FETA & BREAD CRUMB CROUTONS
1 BUNCH TUSCAN KALE (yield 8 cups chiffonade)
COUPLE HANDFULS OF FRESH ARUGULA
1 TBS. MINCED SHALLOT
1 TBS. FRESH LEMON JUICE
3 TBS. OLIVE OIL
1/4 TSP. SALT
PINCH OF DRIED SAVORY or HERBES DE PROVENCE
FRESHLY GROUND WHITE OR BLACK PEPPER
BREAD CRUMB CROUTONS* (see recipe above )
Strip stems from kale by pinching each side of the base of the stem and pulling to the end. Discard stem. Wash and spin dry leaves. Cut into chiffonade.
In a salad bowl, combine minced shallots and lemon juice. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, and herb of choice. Whisk. Add kale and using your hands, work vinaigrette into kale. Let stand for 10-15 minutes or more.
Finally, add arugula, toss in feta, and finish with bread crumb croutons just before serving.
Mary James dishes it out: Chiffonade is a cutting technique where you stack the leaves with the largest on the bottom, roll them up like a cigar and then cut into thin strips. Basil chiffonade is pictured below.
Turn this salad into a main dish by topping with a poached egg and diced, cooked bacon (lardons).
Mary James dishes it out: NEVER EVER throw away a piece of bread. Save them for these croutons. Breads I have used: baguette, white bread, pumpernickel, rye, cornbread, biscuits. They all work and are a must have pantry item. Wonderful all mixed together.