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Thinly sliced kale leaves, massaged with smoked almonds, makes a vibrant salad
Milk Street Bowtie Kale Salad with Smoked Almonds and Picada Crumbs

Kale Salad with Smoked Almonds and Picada Crumbs

Appears in March-April 2018

15 minutes

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Kale Salad with Smoked Almonds and Picada Crumbs

Free

A green salad is a welcome counterpoint to the many heavy meats, starchy sides and rich desserts that crowd holiday tables. We like kale, which is both flavorful and seasonal, a prime candidate for a winter salad. But when eaten raw, the hardy leaves can be unpleasantly tough. We started with lacinato kale, also known as dinosaur or Tuscan kale. Its long blue-green leaves are sweeter and tenderer than curly kale. Slicing the greens thinly was the first step in making them more salad-friendly. Then, to soften them further, we borrowed a Japanese technique used on raw cabbage — massaging the leaves. An acidic shallot-sherry vinaigrette also helped to soften and brighten the kale (look for a sherry vinegar aged at least 3 years). Intensely flavorful paprika breadcrumbs, inspired by the Catalan sauce picada, tied everything together.

6

Servings

Tip

Don’t slice the kale until you’re ready to make the salad; it will wilt. You can, however, stem, wash and dry it ahead of time.

15 minutes

2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
5 tablespoons sherry vinegar
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons honey
8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup smoked almonds
4 ounces chewy white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 bunches lacinato kale, stemmed, washed, spun dry and thinly sliced crosswise (10 cups)
1 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
Ingredients
  • 2

    shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 5

    tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    tablespoons honey

  • 8
  • 1

    cup smoked almonds

  • 4

    ounces chewy white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 2

    teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

  • 1

    tablespoon sweet paprika

  • 2

    bunches lacinato kale, stemmed, washed, spun dry and thinly sliced crosswise (10 cups)

  • 1

    cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

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Reviews
Tamara G.

The crispy, tiny savory bread crumbs in the salad were delicious and fun. Making the crumbs was easy and I learned a new cooking technique.

Tatiana R.

Great salad. I don't know how anyone can make this in 15 minutes, though. It probably took me an hour and a half end-to-end. The processing of the kale probably took the longest.

I didn't have any sweet paprika but I had a lot of the smoked kind, so I used it and instead of the smoked almonds, I used the regular kind.

For bread, I used the Whole Foods' store brand sourdough. I think it gave the crumbs a very good flavor, and because it's not from an artisanal bakery or anything, the crust was soft and thin, suitable for being chopped up in the food processor. No issues at all (I was worried).


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Kale Salad with Smoked Almonds and Picada Crumbs

Get Ready to Cook

6

Servings

15 minutes

Tip

Don’t slice the kale until you’re ready to make the salad; it will wilt. You can, however, stem, wash and dry it ahead of time.

Ingredients
  • 2

    shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

  • 5

    tablespoons sherry vinegar

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    tablespoons honey

  • 8
  • 1

    cup smoked almonds

  • 4

    ounces chewy white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 2

    teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

  • 1

    tablespoon sweet paprika

  • 2

    bunches lacinato kale, stemmed, washed, spun dry and thinly sliced crosswise (10 cups)

  • 1

    cup fresh mint leaves, chopped

Step 1 of 3

Make the dressing

2
shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
5
tablespoons sherry vinegar
¼
teaspoon kosher salt
2
tablespoons honey
5
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½
teaspoon ground black pepper

In a small bowl, whisk together the shallots, vinegar and ¼ teaspoon salt. Allow to sit 10 minutes. Whisk in the honey, 5 tablespoons of the oil and ½ teaspoon pepper; set aside.

Step 2 of 3

Make the breadcrumbs

1
cup smoked almonds
4
ounces chewy white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
2
teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
3
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1
tablespoon sweet paprika
¼
teaspoon Kosher salt
½
teaspoon ground black pepper

In a food processor, process the almonds until coarsely chopped, about 8 pulses; transfer to a large bowl. Add the bread to the processor and process to rough crumbs, about 20 seconds. Add the thyme, remaining 3 tablespoons oil, paprika, ¼ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Process until incorporated, about 10 seconds.


Transfer the crumb mixture to a large skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp and browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Step 3 of 3

Massage the greens, toss the salad and serve

2
bunches lacinato kale, stemmed, washed, spun dry and thinly sliced crosswise (10 cups)
1
cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper

Add the kale and mint to the bowl with the almonds and massage the greens until the kale softens and darkens, 10 to 20 seconds. Add the dressing and crumbs and toss to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper.

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Done!

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