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Thursday, July 12

Tried and True: Grilled Kale Salad with Ricotta and Plums



It has been a little while since I tried something out of a magazine and decided it was fit for reprint. Thankfully I found this grilled kale recipe from Bon Appetit to break the bland cycle.

The last time I had kale was during my crazy diet experiment earlier this year. I enjoyed it quite a bit, despite being part of that wacky diet. Grilling it ups the game quite a bit. A bit of char on the outside edges of the kale really adds quite a bit of deliciousness to the leafy green.

This recipe is really easy, and I was surprised at how little time it required, and how few ingredients were needed. Making the vinaigrette and pitting the plums were the most time consuming, but both were painless. That said, I wish I knew a better way to pit stone fruit. It seems like I have to do a bit of chopping around the stone to get it out. Perhaps I did not pick totally ripe plums? Could be, but the plums were very tasty. The vinaigrette was easy to put together, though I did it a little different than the Bon Appetit recipe: I mixed everything together in a dressing shaker, and poured over the plums instead of mixing the dressing in a bowl and add the plums.

Ricotta is awesome. Sadly, I ended up using some lame, store-bought stuff, and not the really great stuff they have behind the counter at the cheese shop. If When I make this recipe again, I will be using the good stuff. It really added an interesting dimension to a salad.

The kale only goes on the grill for 2 minutes or so, or just until there is a bit of char on the ends. Setting the crispy kale leaves on the ricotta, then dolloping the plum mixture over resulted in quite a visually pleasing salad. There is many different textures to this salad, and it really was a delight to eat. If there was anything that I would have changed, I would have added some nuts. Walnuts, probably, just for another interesting texture.

Lastly, I took it very easy on the salt. One of us is really watching our sodium and sugar intake, so I left it up to the diners to add their spices and seasoning of choice. Fresh thyme really made the dressing good. Usually, I would make a dressing with dried herbs, and was surprised at how good using fresh herbs can be. It is a shame our herb plants have suffered tremendously from the heat.

Grilled Kale Salad with Ricotta and Plums
via: Bon Appetit

Ingredients

  • 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

Preparation

Whisk 3 Tbsp. oil, vinegar, thyme, and honey in a medium bowl. Season vinaigrette 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). 
 
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.

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