There’s a rumor that kale is on its way out. Restaurants have been overwhelmed by kale this past year- kale chips, kale salad, pasta and soups laden with kale- it’s everywhere! And it’s only a matter of time before everyone tires of this healthy leafy vegetable in favor of another fleeting food trend.
In the meantime, a new amazing restaurant in Cambridge, Alden & Harlow, has ironically created “the ubiquitous kale salad” to feature on its menu. If you live in the Boston area and haven’t been to Alden & Harlow yet, run (don’t walk) there and immediately order this salad (and beef neck, and grilled clams, and onion dip, and the secret burger…and don’t forget the drinks!). There is nothing “ubiquitous” about it. The salient feature of the salad is a creamy pistachio dressing, which dresses crispy kale and is then topped with additional pistachios and thinly sliced fennel. While it appears quite simple, it is unlike any salad I have ever had. I’ve had cravings for it so often that I finally had to try to create my own version! My version strayed a little from the Alden & Harlow salad by adding quickly seared brussel sprout leaves and cranberries (instead of fennel) but feel free to add your own accoutrements.
While this pales in comparison to the original “ubiquitous kale salad”, it definitely satsifies my craving when I can’t make the trek for the real thing at Alden & Harlow (or they don’t have any reservations!).
1/2 cup raw shelled pistachios
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup water
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp honey
1 garlic clove (can add more if you want it to be more garlicky)
salt and pepper to taste
Place all of the above in a food processor and blend until thoroughly pureed. Add extra water if too thick, or extra pisctachios if too thin. Use to dress chopped kale (or greens of your choice but pick something hearty to stand up to the bold, creamy dressing) and top with additional pistachios and toppings of your choosing.