Northern Spy’s Kale Salad

Yes…yes…I know you’re saying “not ANOTHER KALE RECIPE!” but trust me, you’ll love this kale salad.   Northern Spy is one of my favorite farm-to-table restaurants in New York City (located in the East Village).  For a special, intimate experience you really must try it.  This is the recipe for their kale salad and it’s amazing!  Apparently, Food 52, our favorite food blog loves it too.  Kudos to you, Northern Spy!

Author Notes: This salad is ideal for making ahead for company (or tomorrow’s lunch) and has been a mainstay on the menu at Northern Spy Food Co. in Manhattan’s East Village since they opened in 2009. The kabocha is traded out with the seasons for things like fresh apricots, kohlrabi, or patty pan squash — slices of apple or persimmon are also good when you don’t feel like waiting for the squash to roast. Unless you wind up with especially burly kale, there’s no need to massage the dressing into this salad, unlike others with raw kale. 

(THIS RECIPE SERVES 2)

Photo by James Ransom

Photo from Food 52 by James Ransom

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup cubed kabocha, butternut, or other winter squash
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 bunch kale (preferably lacinato or dinosaur kale), ribs removed and finely sliced, about 2 1/2 cups
  • 1/4 cup almonds, cut roughly in half
  • 1/4 cup crumbled or finely chopped Cabot clothbound cheddar (or any good, aged cheddar — if you can’t find aged cheddar, use parmesan)
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Pecorino or other hard cheese, for shaving (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Heat oven to 425° F. Toss squash cubes in just enough olive oil to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet (lined with parchment for easier cleanup), leaving space between the cubes. Roast in the oven until tender and caramelized, about 40 minutes, tossing with a spatula every 10-15 minutes. Toast the almonds on a baking sheet in the same oven until they start to smell nutty, tossing once, about 10 minutes. Let cool.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, toss the kale with the almonds, cheddar and squash. Season to taste with lemon juice and olive oil (approximately 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3.  Divide salad between two plates or shallow bowls. Garnish with shaved pecorino cheese, if desired, and serve.

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