March 01, 2014

cavalo nero (kale salad)


If you live in or around Toronto and are looking to head to a restaurant, may I recommend Gusto 101?

My favourite dish there is actually a salad, the Cavalo Nero.  The first time someone recommended Gusto to me, they told me about this salad, and I thought "how can a kale salad be that good?"  Well, I've tried it (a couple of times now) and I'm here to tell you that yes, a kale salad can be that good.

I decided to recreate it at home a few weeks ago, and it didn't turn out half bad.  The restaurant version is still king, but this recipe does a good job of getting close.






Here's the recipe!

Kale Salad (aka Gusto restaurant's famous Cavalo Nero)
adapted from Kitchen Inspirations

Ingredients
6 cups of kale, finely chopped in thin strips
2 tbsp dried blueberries and/or cherries
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds or toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp pesto sauce or mashed up basil
1/4 cup finely shaved or grated parmesan or grana padano
pinch of salt


Directions:
About 30 minutes before serving, combine the lemon juice, honey, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and salt and mix well in a large unreactive bowl (not metal).  Add the finely cut kale and toss to coat evenly. Set aside for a minimum of 30 minutes.  This allows the kale to macerate in the dressing and get the right texture and taste.

Just before serving, add the blueberries, pine nuts or pumpkin seeds, pesto and grated parmesan cheese to the dressed kale and toss well. 

Enjoy!