Dear SOS: I am addicted to the Tuscan kale salad at Little Dom’s in L.A. I love kale no matter how I prepare it, but it never tastes quite as delicious as the Dom’s salad. I am hoping it’s 100% guilt free, but maybe there’s a sinful ingredient in there somewhere? Any chance you could look into this?
Dear Elise: Because of its rather tough texture, greens like kale are often cooked to tenderize them before serving. But gently rubbing a bright vinaigrette onto the cut greens also works to soften their texture, making for a wonderfully fresh salad with crisp, assertive notes. Top it with a few grilled baby carrots for an extra touch of color and you have a finished dish in under 30 minutes. Forget the guilt; I think it’s rather virtuous.
In a small pot of salted, boiling water, blanch the carrots just until tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and shock the carrots in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process, then drain and split lengthwise.
Toss the carrots in a bowl with the olive oil, one-eighth teaspoon salt, one-eighth teaspoon pepper, oregano and vinegar.
On a grill heated over medium-high heat, grill the carrots for grill marks and to warm through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside in a warm place.
Salad and assembly
In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon and orange juice, shallots, vinegar, oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss in the kale, gently rubbing the dressing into the kale (the rubbing will soften the kale slightly).
Plate the salad, garnishing each serving with grilled carrots. Take any remaining dressing from the bottom of the bowl and pour over the carrots and salad. Serve immediately.
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