This might sound like the oddest assortment of ingredients, but trust me they jive! Tobin and I love the kale salad at Barbaro, a local pizzeria near our home. Their kale salad is studded with red grapes and gorgonzola- I always crave the combined flavors of crunchy kale, juicy/sweet grapes, and salty/pungent cheese! Here, I’ve taken loose inspiration from Barbaro’s salad and amped it up with a few additional ingredients- curry powder, crisp roasted cauliflower and tender lentils to be precise. The resulting concoction is the perfect hearty side dish or light main course for the fall season. It’s a complex mix of crunchy, tender, sweet, salty and spicy. There’s nothing boring about this dish! If you’re adverse to blue cheese, try subbing feta in it’s place. Also, walnuts can be substituted with almonds, pecans or even pumpkin seeds. Like all kale salads, this is best made about 15-30 minutes ahead of time to allow the greens to soften. Enjoy!
prep time: ~30 min. cook time: ~15 min. serves: 4-6 as a side dish
1/2 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets (about 3 heaping cups)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup French green lentils
1 bay leaf
1 cup halved seedless red grapes
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup crumbled Stilton cheese, plus a little extra for garnish
3 cups stemmed and chopped kale (from about 3 large leaves)
ground black pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1-1/2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp minced shallot
2 tsp curry powder
1-1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425° with a rack in the upper third. Toss the cauliflower florets on a parchment lined sheet pan with the curry powder, cumin, turmeric, 1 tsp salt, ground black pepper to taste and the olive oil. When evenly coated, lay in a single layer and roast 25-30 minutes, until crisp and brown on the outside and creamy on the inside. Set the cauliflower aside while you continue to prep.
Place the lentils in a medium saucepan and cover with water by a few inches. Add the bay leaf and a generous pinch of salt to the pot and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are al dente (they should retain their shape and be tender but not mushy). Drain the lentils and discard the bay leaf- let them cool slightly.
Make the curry vinaigrette by combining all the ingredients besides the olive oil in a measuring cup or jar. Slowly stream in the oil, whisking constantly to emulsify. Check for seasoning and set aside.
Add the cooked lentils, cauliflower, kale, grapes and walnuts to a large bowl- season with a pinch of salt and a few cranks of pepper. Pour some of the dressing over the top and toss to coat, adding more dressing if it seems too dry. Add the Stilton and toss gently again so a as not to break it up too much. Sprinkle the extra Stilton over the top. Let the salad sit at least 15 minutes to soften the kale before serving.