recently we went to ponce city market's brezza to celebrate a friend's dinner. I've had drinks there before, but hadn't had dinner. there are two salads on the menu: gem lettuces, pears, candied pecan, gorgonzola, bacon or JW kale salad, pecorino, breadcrumbs, anchovy dressing. the first salad sounded so yummy since it had so many ingredients, while honestly, the kale salad seemed kind of boring. we asked the server which salad was better and he said definitely the kale. I even asked if there were any other ingredients in it because the gem lettuce salad sounded better. apparently, that was a rookie mistake. the server retorted that it's the chef's, jonathan waxman's, absolute specialty. oops.
so we ordered the kale salad, in fact, our table somehow ended up with about five orders of the salad and they were all eaten by the end of the night. we looked up the recipe and luckily, it's super easy!
-1 lb. fresh kale, baby if possible, preferably dinosaur type
-1/2 t. anchovy paste
-1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
-12 leaves of basil
-1 T. dijon mustard
-juice of one lemon
-3 oz. extra virgin olive oil
-1 oz. grated pecorino romano cheese
-1 oz. breadcrumbs
1. wash the kale and using a very sharp chef’s knife, julienne the kale (roll up leaves with stems and cut up as thin as possible).
2. dry kale in a salad spinner. place in a salad bowl.
3. in a blender mash together the basil, anchovy paste, mustard and lemon juice and blend well. drizzle in the olive oil and combine well. season with salt and pepper and maybe a pinch of red pepper flakes.
4. pour dressing over the kale, enough to coat the leaves well. use both hands to crush the kale as hard as you can. this step takes some time, the more you crush and massage the kale, the better the salad will be. stay with it!
5. sprinkle with cheese and breadcrumbs then toss together and serve.
recipe adapted from jonathan waxman