South End's "Not-Juiced" Kale Salad


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Ravi and I are creatures of habit, especially when it comes to our favorite restaurants and the dishes we like to order.

Back when we were living in Connecticut, one of our go-to spots was South End in New Canaan. We’d usually split the lemony fried artichokes as a starter (maybe mix it up with a seasonal special), he’d get the vegetarian pasta option made vegan, and I would almost always get their “Not-Juiced” salad topped with pan-seared salmon. If we went for brunch, I’d add two poached eggs. It’s one of the best massaged kale salads I’ve ever had — and believe me, I’ve had A LOT.

So when we moved to Florida, I had to recreate it when the craving struck. It’s a study in restraint and texture. Very finely shredded kale, seeded and peeled cucumber, thinly sliced serrano peppers that are few and far between so when you get one it’s like a pop of heat in your mouth, just enough lemon and olive oil to lightly dress it, and then creamy avocado to pull it all together. Sounds amazing, right?!

My trick for thinly shredded the kale is to 1) use lacinato kale, 2) remove all of the ribs, 3) stack the leaves one on top of each other, 4) tightly make a long roll, 5) hold tight and use your knife to start from the top and the slice as thinly as possible. But honestly, if you just wanted to tear up the leaves and make the rest of the salad as is — it would likely be just as delicious.

Make it below!

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My favorite juice.

AS A SALAD!

South End’s “Not-Juiced” Kale Salad

Serves two

Ingredients:

1 large head lacinato (Dinosaur) kale, very thinly sliced
juice from 1 lemon
2-3 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
good pinch fine sea salt
1/3 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
1/2 small serrano pepper, thinly sliced (or to taste)
1/2 avocado, thinly sliced

Directions:

Add kale to a large bowl and top with lemon juice, olive oil, and sea salt. Using your hands, toss and massage the kale leaves until well coated with the dressing. The leaves should start to turn bright green and reduce in volume by about half. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed — more salt, a little more lemon, etc. Then, add in cucumber and serrano pepper. Toss to combine.

To serve, transfer salad into two bowls (though I’ve been know to eat this all myself) and top with sliced avocado.

Make it ahead: This salad will keep well for a few days in the fridge. I often make it in the evening for lunch the next day.