I identify more as a huge food blog fan than I do as a food blogger. My Google Reader is filled with dozens of them. I love these windows into other people’s kitchens: it’s like standing on the stepstool in the kitchen as a kid, or sitting in a restaurant with an open kitchen, watching the choreography involved in meal preparation, where multiple people waltz around each other with pots and pans and knives. I find it mesmerizing, like watching the man at the circus juggling the flaming rings or something.
One blog I have loved reading is Stay at Stove Dad. And for a while now I have been making versions of his Fly Sky High Kale Salad. I don’t get along very well with pine nuts, so I have been making the salad without them and adding garlic. But as we know, I have this thing with adding raisins to savory dishes. When my sister was in town last week, I added raisins to the salad after a soak in white balsamic vinegar. The tart vinegar, the sweet raisins, the mellow kale and the aged pecorino just sing together. This is a great dish to make when you’re fixing a larger meal, because the raisins need to soak, and after cooking the kale needs to cool, so you can do it in stages in between everything else.
We had a wonderful meal (including a veal stew that will be posted later) and enjoyed every bite. It made me think of Stay at Stove Dad’s daughters, Nina and Pinta—two other sisters, who share this salad regularly—what lucky girls! Thanks to his family and many other bloggers who open their kitchens to all of us regularly.
Kale salad with raisins + pecorino
Inspired by Fly Sky High Kale Salad at Stay at Stove Dad
- 1 clove garlic, sliced paper thin
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 10 to 12 ounces lacinato kale (cavolo nero or Italian kale), washed and ribs removed, sliced into a thin chiffonade
- 1/2 cup raisins, black or golden
- 1/4 cup white balsamic or cider vinegar
- pecorino cheese
- freshly ground black pepper
- coarse salt
1. Select a large salad or mixing bowl. Mix raisins and vinegar in the bowl, submerging raisins as much as possible. Set aside for up to an hour.
2. Select a large saute pan. Warm olive oil over medium-high heat and add garlic, and stir just until garlic is fragrant. Add kale to the pan and saute very quickly, just until it turns bright green and before it wilts very much. Scrape kale mixture into the bowl with the raisins and vinegar. Toss thoroughly with tongs and set aside until it reaches room temperature.
3. Sprinkle kale with salt and several grindings of fresh pepper. Toss once more and divide among salad plates or bowls. Using a vegetable peeler, shave a few shavings of pecorino cheese on each serving. Serve.