If you have ever been to North Italia restaurant and you love kale, then I’m sure that you have tried their Tuscan kale salad, I cannot get enough of it. Each bite is crunchy, sweet, and salty. This past holiday season, I decided to research it and try to come as close as I could to the real recipe. I came up with my concoction, and as a matter of fact, I made the salad twice, and my kids were having leftovers for a late-night snack. Here is the recipe, I hope you and your loved ones enjoy it.
for the dressing:
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- juice of one lemon
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- fresh ground pepper
for the salad
- 6–8 slices French bread or baguette
- 4 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1lb fresh lacinato kale stems discarded, very finely chopped
- 4 ozs pancetta, small-diced
- 2 granny smith apples, cut into very thin slices
- 1/4 cup roasted pistachios chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cups seedless red grapes
- Dressing: Place all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to mix. Taste and adjust as desired.
- Breadcrumbs: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping the pieces over halfway through baking. When the bread is very dry and crusty, remove from oven and allow to cool. Break the bread into pieces and place in a food processor. Pulse until crumbs form. Toss the breadcrumbs with the melted butter and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Spread on the baking sheet and bake for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add the pancetta and cook over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, frequently tossing until browned and crisp. Transfer the pancetta with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Cut each grape in half. Heat a pan over high heat, grill the grapes until lightly charred, turning once, about 2 minutes total.
- Salad: Toss the kale, breadcrumbs, pancetta, pistachios, apples, grapes, parmesan, and dressing together. Serve immediately.