In the summer, I must admit, it becomes all too tempting to forego cooking for a night (or two, or three…) and order delivery from the sushi place around the corner or pick up a slice from the pizza place one street over. Even as someone who loves to cook, I find myself giving into these temptations far more often when the weather is warm.
After feeling like I was stuck in a cooking rut for about a week, I needed something fast, fresh and easy to remind me just how much better home-cooked meals are. This kale salad turned out to be a welcome reminder.
With just three main ingredients, this salad exemplifies that simplicity is sometimes best. There are no rare ingredients, no complicated techniques, just good-quality produce prepared simply.
The kale leaves are brushed with olive oil and salt before being charred over a grill until they’re a little bit crispy. Meanwhile, the plums are bathed in a honeyed vinaigrette, all before being placed over a pile of fluffy fresh ricotta.
Grilled Kale Salad with Ricotta and Plums
Adapted from Bon Appétit
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp. honey
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
4 medium plums, halved, pitted, thinly sliced
12 large or 16 small curly kale leaves
3/4 c. fresh ricotta
1. Whisk 3 Tbsp. oil, vinegar, thyme, and honey in a medium bowl. Season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper. Add plums and toss to coat; transfer plums to a plate.
2. Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to high. Brush kale leaves with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil; season with salt. Grill kale, turning once, until crispy and charred at edges, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a work surface; let stand until cool enough to handle. Remove large center stems with a knife and discard (just trim the tough ends from smaller, more tender kale stems).
3. Divide ricotta among plates; season with salt and pepper. Stir vinaigrette again. Tear larger kale leaves into pieces (leave smaller leaves whole). Place leaves in a large bowl and toss with some of the vinaigrette. Divide leaves among plates. Top with plums and drizzle some vinaigrette over.
Our plums were very, very ripe so we ended up with almost a chutney, but it was delicious either way. This is definitely a salad that can be easily adapted upon for almost any occasion. As much as I love our occasional delivery indiscretion, our neighborhood slice shop can’t quite compete with this.