The warmth of the vinaigrette softens the kale and adds a richness to this hearty salad. Here I use Tuscan kale, as I prefer its soft ridges to the sharper edges of the more classic variety. What I love about kale salads is that they hold up in the fridge, so feel free to make this salad in advance or enjoy leftovers the next day.
This is a fun twist on a warm spinach salad, with the hearty kale standing up to a rich pancetta dressing and tart apples. The photographer for this recipe actually fried up two eggs and ate them on the salad, which made me think this would also be the perfect breakfast salad!
Kale with Apples, Currants, and Warm Pancetta Vinaigrette
4 ounces (110 grams) pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 small bunch Lacinato kale
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small shallot, finely minced (1/4 cup or 40 grams)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 apple, unpeeled and diced (I like something tart and crisp, like Pink Lady or Granny Smith)
1/4 cup (35 grams) dried currants
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1/2 a small lemon)
Shaved Parmesan, for finishing
Add the pancetta to a large sauté pan set over medium-low heat. Cook until brown and most of the fat has rendered, about 10 minutes.
While the pancetta cooks, wash the kale, remove the tough inner ribs, and cut into 1-inch ribbons.
Once the pancetta is brown, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the shallots and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until the shallots are golden around the edges and cooked through.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, mustard, and red wine vinegar.
Pour the warm vinaigrette over the kale. Add the apples, currants, and lemon juice. Toss to combine. Use a vegetable peeler to shave large, thin wisps of Parmesan over the salad to finish.