My garden is overflowing with kale – I’m not complaining! It just gave me more incentive to try a new version of kale salad. This recipe was served at the White House to the Obama’s on Thanksgiving and was written up in the Washington Post. I made it a couple nights ago (it’s perfect for spring time) and it was BOMB! We had some leftovers, which made an amazing lunch the next day – not too soggy and the flavor maybe even better. Having not been acquainted with fennel, it was really a nice addition and not too overpowering. And don’t leave out the fresh jalapenos! I also used regular toasted almonds spiced with cumin and smoked paprika, since marcona almonds are not available at my local market.
White House Kale Salad
For the dressing
- 1 medium shallot, minced
- Juice of 2 medium lemons (about 6 tablespoons)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the salad
- 2 bunches young kale, washed and spun dry, stacked and cut into thin slices
- 1 bulb fennel (fronds, stems and outer layer removed or reserved for another use), cored and thinly sliced
- 4 radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 scallion, white and light-green parts, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 4 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved or cut into slivers
- 4 ounces spiced marcona almonds (one cup; see NOTE)
For the dressing: Combine the shallot, lemon juice and vinegar in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the salad: Place the kale in a large serving bowl. About 10 minutes before serving, add the dressing to taste and toss to coat evenly. (You might not use all the dressing.)
Add the fennel, radishes, jalapenos, scallion, cheese and almonds, tossing to incorporate.
NOTE: Spiced marcona almonds might be hard to find in a store, but you can make your own. Whisk an egg white in a medium bowl, add 1 cup of marcona almonds and toss to coat. Combine 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin and 1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika in a separate medium bowl. Add the almonds and toss to coat. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned, about 15 minutes, watching carefully to make sure they don’t burn. Cool before using.