OMG. I’m so into this salad right now. I’ve made it twice since my mom sent it to me in the mail last week. It’s a major keeper. I mean obviously. It’s an LA Times adaptation of a Gjelina recipe. These are to be kept close to the breast, people. We cannot misplace Gjelina recipes.
And do you know what’s better? It’s sooooo easy. I’ve been roasting the kale in a super hot oven, instead of grilling it. Much less fussy, if you ask me. And I’ve made a few teeny additions that I think kind of help it along.
Grilled kale salad with yogurt dressing and hazelnuts
Adapted from the LA Times & Gjelina
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
10 mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 to 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts (skin on)
2 bunches Russian or curly kale, stems removed
1 handful of halved cherry tomatoes
Preheat oven to 500°.
To prep the kale. First soak both bunches in a sink-ful of water for 10-15 minutes so the bugs and dirt fall to the bottom. Then take each stalk out one at a time, and holding the bottom of the inner rib, pull your other hand up the stalk to quickly strip the leaves from the rib. So much easier than slicing the leaves away from the rib one at a time! I will never go back.
For the dressing. Add the yogurt, shallot, garlic, mint, 1/4 cup of olive oil, and red wine vinegar to a bowl and whisk together. Then add a pinch of sea salt and pepper and taste. Add more as you like. This makes almost double the amount of dressing you need for one recipe. But you won’t be sorry because it’s delicious on anything.
For the hazelnuts. Toast the whole nuts in the oven or toaster oven until they are nice and golden and the skins are cracking. Dump them onto one half of a damp kitchen towel and fold the other half over the top so the nuts are covered. Roll the nuts between the towel with your hands until the skins come off. Yay! ANOTHER great kitchen tip. I love this one almost as much as the kale. Chop hazelnuts loosely.
For the kale. Lay the kale onto a large cookie sheet. Drizzle with remaining olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and toss as best you can with your hands. Put the kale into your super hot oven, preferably under the broiler (once it’s had a chance to wilt a bit). The kale will cook super fast and it’s totally fine if a few leaves get burned. Turn the leaves as they cook so that all pieces are nicely wilted.
Arrange the kale on a platter. Sprinkle nuts and tomatoes over the top. Drizzle dressing generously. Top with lemon zest, lemon juice, sea salt and a few grinds of pepper.