Secret Recipe: Grand Café's Kale Salad


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While one of the season’s most popular ingredients, kale’s bitterness can stump even the most dedicated home cooks. But Chef Alicia Jenish’s quick brine turns this nutrition-packed leafy green into a delicious entrée or side. Her seasonal versions have been a menu hit since she took the helm at Grand Café last fall. All hail kale!

Black Kale Salad

Serves 2-4

1 bunch black kale (a.k.a. Tuscan or dinosaur kale)

1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets

Olive oil, as needed

1/4 cup carmody cheese, cubed (available at Whole Foods or the Ferry Building)

2 tablespoons toasted walnuts

2 ounces currant vinaigrette (see recipe below)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Julienne the kale. Sprinkle with two tablespoons kosher salt.

3. Let sit, refrigerated in a colander, with a bowl underneath to capture liquid, for an hour.

4. Rinse well, and spin dry.

5. Toss the cauliflower with a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a bowl with salt and pepper. Place on a roasting pan and cook in an oven for 10 minutes, or until brown and tender. Reserve.

6. Toss all ingredients together with currant vinaigrette and season with cracked black pepper.


Currant and Red Wine Vinaigrette

6 ounces red wine vinegar

1/2 cup black currants

2 ounces Dijon mustard

1/2 cup minced red onions

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 1/2 cups blended oil (a mix of canola and olive oil)

6 ounces extra virgin olive oil

1. Combine the mustard, vinegar, and currants, and puree in a food processor.

2. Place puree in a large bowl, add the onions, salt, and pepper, then whisk in the oils slowly to emulsify.

3. Correct the seasonings to taste and use as needed. 

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