Taylor and I are joyously reveling in other people’s recipes right now. Food magazines! Brilliant blogs! Cookbooks! It’s fantastic. After months of pressure knowing that dinner was always on us, it’s nice to let someone else do the work for a change. Well, we still have to cook it, but we don’t have to think quite as much while doing it.
I started calling this salad kale chip salad, as we used the same method of preparation for the kale as we do when we make kale chips. The grill-less among us will sympathize. I’m sure grilled kale is fantastic, but we have no choice but to improvise.
Luckily, the kale comes out of the oven crisp and delicious. I’m surprised no one has ever thought to put it in a salad before, because it’s kind of awesome. Having spent so much time developing recipes in the past year I can heartily appreciate a brilliant recipe when I see one.
Our home is in a state of disarray at the moment, a result of long-put-off projects that we’re finally getting around to completing. I’ll just say that such projects would not be necessary if I didn’t have an overabundance of spoons and ice cream bowls. My bad.
Since our dining room table is, um, unavailable at the moment (meaning there’s not a free inch on which to set a plate), we’ve been forced outside. Luckily the gorgeous fall-like weather has so kindly permitted us to eat outside on our (thoroughly underutilized) balcony. So for the past few days we’ve dined alfresco, breathing in the crisp quasi-fall air, surrounded by freaky spiders and dead tomatoes. How romantic.
Crispy Kale, Plum, and Ricotta Salad
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon honey
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
4 medium plums, halved, pitted, thinly sliced
12 large or 16 small curly kale leaves
3/4 cup fresh ricotta
Whisk 3 tablespoons olive oil together with vinegar, thyme, and honey in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add plums and toss to coat; transfer plums to a plate.
Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Brush kale leaves with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil; season with salt. Grill kale, turning once, until crispy and charred at edges, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a work surface; let stand until cool enough to handle. Remove large center stems with a knife and discard (just trim the tough ends from smaller, more tender kale stems). Alternatively, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss kale leaves with oil and arrange in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until crispy.
Divide ricotta among plates; season with salt and pepper. Stir vinaigrette again. Tear larger kale leaves into pieces (leave smaller leaves whole). Place leaves in a large bowl and toss with some of the vinaigrette. Divide leaves among plates. Top with plums and drizzle some vinaigrette over.