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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Dinosaur Greens

Menu Note:

The Ingredients (for 6 to 8 servings):

  • 2 or 3 shallots, weighing approximately 125 g (or ¼ lb)
  • 125 g (or ¼ lb) of thick-cut, smoked bacon, the leaner the better
  • 90 ml (or 6 tablespoons) of balsamic vinegar
  • 60 ml (or 4 tablespoons) of red wine
  • 30 ml (or 2 tablespoons) of lemon juice
  • 30 ml (or 2 tablespoons) of lime juice
  • 120 ml (or ½ cup) of salad grade olive oil
  • 340 g (or ¾ lb) of Tuscan (or "dinosaur") kale
  • 90 g (or 3 oz) of pecans
  • 340 g (or ¾ lb) of strawberries
  • 60 g (or 2 oz) of hard goat cheese

    The Method:
    1. Roast the shallots in their skins at 220°C (or 425°F) for 1 hour, and allow them to cool to room temperature.

    2. Remove the outer, burnt layers and set the roasted shallots aside.
    3. Cube the bacon and fry the pieces in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the fat is rendered and the bacon pieces are browned.
    4. Turn the heat to low, add the balsamic vinegar and red wine, and cover the saucepan.
    5. Braise the bacon gently for 30 minutes.

    6. Allow the braised bacon to cool to room temperature.
    7. Place the lemon juice, lime juice, and olive oil into a blender or food processor.
    8. Add the roasted shallots and the contents of the saucepan, and blend on high speed to form an emulsion.
    9. Strain the emulsion through a fine sieve to remove any pieces of bacon.

    10. Taste and adjust the acidity of the salad dressing by adding either lime juice or olive oil.
    11. Place the pecans into a small oven-proof dish and bake them at 175°C (or 350°F) for 5 minutes.
    12. Allow the pecans to cool to room temperature.
    13. Wash and hull the strawberries and, if necessary, cut them into bite-size pieces.
    14. Cut the cheese into small cubes.
    15. Wash the kale and remove the center stem of each leaf.
    16. Dry the kale as much as possible, and cut or tear the leaves into bite-size pieces.

    17. Place the kale and half of the strawberries into a salad bowl. Toss with the salad dressing.
    18. Sprinkle the remaining strawberries, the pecans, and the cheese cubes on top of the tossed salad.

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