Kale Salad at Northern Spy Food Co.
This is it, the kale dish that's driven us all kale crazy. When we asked you on Twitter and Facebook what your favorite kale dishes were, you shouted "Northern Spy Kale Salad!" almost as loud as some of our editors.
This kale salad is made with raw lacinato kale, crumbled Cabot clothbound cheddar, roasted squash, toasted almonds, and pecorino. Don't be afraid of the raw kale—the bright greens feel wholesome (even dressed up in cheese), but they've relaxed enough in the dressing to not require too much chewing.
Kale Salad at Chuko
Small pieces of kale take on two forms, some left raw and softly crunchy, some tempura-fried (and, well, crisply crunchy), the batter clinging to their every crag and cranny. They're dressed in a faintly sweet white miso vinaigrette that gently soaks in; pickled golden raisins join the greens, and strands of crisped-up Japanese sweet potato curl on top.
552 Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11238 (map) 718-576-6701
Black Kale at Buvette
Bright, curly pieces of black kale are just slightly wilted, then dressed with olive oil, garlic, and chiles. Served atop crusty, buttery slices of garlic bread (from Royal Crown in Brooklyn), the kale receives some extra richness thanks to the golden yolk of a runny poached egg.
Braised Tuscan Kale at Craft
Ample leaves of kale are braised for two hours in sofrito—a slow-cooked blend of onions, celery, and carrots. This base cooks all day until it caramelizes, then white wine crushed tomatoes, and rosemary are added. The kale absorbs the deeply savory flavor of the sofrito, giving it a similar flavor to a winter soup or stew.
Sayur Daun Singkong at Upi Jaya
A long braise in a curry-spiked coconut broth brings out the deep vegetal sweetness of kale. The texture is soft but toothsome, enriched by fatty—but not greasy—coconut.
76-04 Woodside Avenue, Elmhurst, NY 11373 (map) 718-4581807
Kale Salad at Fatty 'Cue
Tuscan Kale Salad at 606 R&D
It's just four ingredients—kale, red onion, hazelnut, grana, and olive oil, plus salt, and pepper—"but this salad does weird things to people," says Ilene Rosen, chef and co-owner of 606 R&D. "The lengths people go to get to this salad. It exudes pheromones. Or maybe it makes people exude pheromones."
Kale Chips at Maimonide Of Brooklyn
The complimentary kale chips that begin your meal at Maimonide of Brooklyn are perfect examples of the form. Crisp to the point of flaky, neither under- nor over-seasoned, and completely free of grease, these snacks could make you forget all about potato chips.
Kale and Clementine Salad at Radish
Beyond its eponymous ingredients—kale torn into bite-sized pieces (it's amazing how many kale salads are in unwieldy chunks) and neatly segmented citrus—this salad is laced with Parmesan and hazelnuts, in crumbles and shards that cling to every piece. It makes for a salad that's not just tasty things thrown together, but composed in a way that it collides as it should in one bite.
Kale Salad at Birdbath Tribeca
Toasted hazelnuts are tossed with thinly sliced kale leaves, then tangled with grated cheddar. The three ingredients marry remarkable well, and are bound by a gloss of vinaigrette with the slight hint of lemon and garlic. It's light and hearty all at once.
The Garden Variety Margarita at The Wayland
Not a dish per se, but we can't stop thinking about this kale concoction. Though this cocktail was inspired by a get-well-remedy, you shouldn't be afraid of the kale juice. Made with Milagro silver tequila, lime juice, and a three-to-one ratio of fresh ginger to kale, the drink's just a little bit salady, with a rim of smoked salt and a gingery punch.