Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pastaria Kale Salad

A lot of people have asked me about the differences between the Chicago and St. Louis restaurant scenes. It's hard to compete with a world-class scene like Chicago's, but we've found a number of good restaurants here. In general I find you just have to look a little hard and Yelp isn't as reliable here. #FirstWorldProblems, right?

One of the restaurants we have really loved is Pastaria by Niche. My favorite thing on the menu? Their chopped kale salad. It's incredibly flavorful and I've been trying to put my finger on the flavors for months. I haven't quite nailed it, but I think I'm getting pretty darn close with the following recipe. Anchovies people... that's the good stuff.



I know... I know... anchovies are the food your mom used to threaten you with when you were a kid, but they're really tasty. In this recipe you don't taste fish, but the anchovies give a meaty, salty bite to the dressing that stands up well to the firm texture of kale.


Usually I just shake up my dressings in a jar, but with the anchovies I like to give it a buzz in the food processor. This way you don't get any rogue chunks of fish. Gross.


Like most kale salads, it's best to rub in the dressing and let it sit for a few minutes. The nice thing about this is you can make it ahead if you're entertaining or if you're bringing it for lunch you can dress it in the morning. Easy peasy.


Just throw in the cheese and bread crumbs right before you serve to keep everything crunchy. So if you can't make it to Pastaria, at least you can enjoy a close(ish) salad.


Pastaria Kale Salad
2 bunches kale
1 shallot, roughly chopped
4 anchovy fillets
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh-shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

De-stem, wash and dry kale before roughly chopping. Place in a large bowl.

Combine shallot, anchovies, lemon juice and olive oil in a food processor. Buzz until shallot and anchovy are finely chopped and dressing has emulsified.

Use your hands to rub salad dressing into the kale leaves. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.

Just before serving toss in parmesan cheese and panko bread crumbs. Enjoy!

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