Meatless Monday: Kale, apple, almond and Pecorino salad

A crunchy salad that will keep its freshness more than a day.

Whipped, The Blog
Kale salad with crunchy apples and savory Pecorino cheese and topped with a tangy lemon dressing.

While visiting a friend in Colorado some weeks ago, I discovered that she has also been on a kale kick. She served this raw kale salad explaining that it was her latest obsession. Her husband reminded her not to overserve it to the point that she got too tired of it and abandon it forever. I am guilty of the same habit. I find myself over enthusiastic about certain flavors and I overdose on them. 

After returning from Colorado a number of weeks ago, I consciously worked to limit my consumption of this salad to avoid the love-overconsume-overdose cycle. Now and then, I harvest all the fresh leaves from our kale garden and mix it with apple, almond and Pecorino cheese before drizzling it with lemon vinaigrette.

One of the admirable traits of a kale salad is its ability to last a day and not wilt. Be sure to massage the dressing into the leaves and let it sit for 15 minutes or more before eating. I’ve found that tenderizes the leaves. And, don’t be bashful about making a double recipe and eating the leftovers for lunch the next day.

Kale, Apple, Almond and Pecorino Salad

1 bunch curly kale
1/3 cup toasted, slivered or chopped almonds
1/2 cup Pecorino cheese cut in 1/4 inch squares
1 apple, sliced thin – pink lady, gala, or fuji 
Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 3 Tbsp)
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Wash and dry kale leaves. Fold them in half and pull stem out removing it all the way up, even through the bottom part of the leaves where it is thick. Tear the leaves into bite sized pieces or chop the leaves crosswise in 1/2 inch ribbons. Place them in a bowl.

Toast almonds in a skillet over medium heat until light brown. Remove from heat and cool.

Cut cheese into 1/4 inch dice. Cut apple right before tossing in the dressing to avoid browning.

To make the dressing, whisk lemon with olive oil until combined. I like to shake them together in a jar. Add a pinch of salt and black ground pepper. Drizzle dressing on kale little by little, massaging into the the leaves with your hands. You may have more dressing than desired, depending on how much kale you have. When it is all coated, add the cheese, almonds and apples and toss together.

Let sit about 15 minutes before serving. It lasts in the refrigerator one day.

Related post on Whipped, The Blog:  Kale Sesame and Ginger Salad

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