Serious Kale

I have been obsessed with kale salad for two weeks now.  I recently went to dinner at Serious Pie in Seattle.  If you are not familiar, this is one of Tom Douglas’ restaurants.  Tom Douglas is a Seattle restauranteur, famous for his delicious crab cakes and many successful restaurants.  At Serious Pie, he has re-imagined pizza for the better.  The crust is super thin and topped with delicious items that although delicious, sometimes require a bit of navigational help from one’s server.  My favorite pizza on the menu is the traditional buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil; showcasing the beautiful technique and high quality ingredients used at this establishment.  We often order this simple beauty along with a more exotic pie, think seasonal mushroom and truffle cheese or sweet fennel sausage.  The pizza is phenomenal, but leaving the restaurant on this particular night, I was still thinking about kale.

We had decided to try Serious Pie’s second location, Serious Pie Westlake.  I prefer this location to the original, it seems to have a bit more seating and there was no wait at all!  We ordered our food, planning to share.  The kale salad arrived I had to hold myself back from gobbling down the whole dish.  A second plate was quickly requested from our server.  Not only did it taste fresh and lemony, but the texture was nicely soft.

I have been riding on the kale bandwagon since last summer.  My husband literally rolled his eyes when I start whipping up yet another kale salad.  Usually they involve everything but the kitchen sink, but not this one.  This salad’s beauty is in its restraint.  I had to try to recreate it.

Serious Kale  

(inspired by the kale at Serious Pie), serves 4

1 bunch lacinato (or Tuscan) kale
1 1/2 oz Garlic Olive Oil
juice of 1 lemon (about 2 oz)
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan (I prefer pecorino), reserve a bit for a garnish
pinch of sea salt (to taste)
1/3 cup pine nuts
finely sliced calabrian chilies  (used at Serious Pie, but omitted this time around in hopes that my kids might try it)

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 Wash and cut out ribs of kale.  Dispose of ribs.  Roughly chop greens.  Massage chopped kale with olive oil, lemon juice, parmesan and salt (I find this part nicely therapeutic).  Let rest 30-45 minutes.  This step is important.  By allowing the kale to marinate and rest, the texture softens dramatically.  Add pine nuts and salt to taste.  Garnish with additional parmesan.  Serve.  Enter culinary nirvana…
So this is my second attempt at trying to get this recipe just right.  Last week I tried it and amazingly, three of the four of us who enjoyed dinner together were all attempting it on the same night!  Seriously, Serious Pie???  We had not spoken since having dinner the week before.  Clearly I was not the only one dreaming of kale… 

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