Today was a win. Today I finished the very last of our wedding thank you notes. I remember reading that Emily Post's permissible window for sending thank-yous is within 3 months of the occasion. Whether Emily Post is still in charge of these things, I do not know. But since I've beat the deadline (by a full 3 weeks!) I am going to go ahead and say, yes, she is still is the beacon on all things etiquette and, yes, that is from whom I'm taking my cues. I wish Emily were here right now so I could ask if that is the correct use of 'whom'.
With the great thank-you-note project wrapped and the scent of productivity still lingering in the air I decided to keep it rolling and make this salad. I heart this salad. I was reminded today that even though I always get the slightest bit annoyed midstream by the number of steps*, the end result is totally worth it. It's hearty, perfect for winter, and can hold its own the day after. Boom.
*Go ahead and chuckle. There aren't really that many steps at all, I know.
I used lacinto kale (which I still don't know how to pronounce, anyone?) but any variety would do.
Imagine a plus sign hovering above this fennel bulb. Those are the planes you want to cut along, once lengthwise, once crosswise. You'll end up with 4 quarters, each with the root end still intact which makes for easy, breezy slicing.
Celery: apparently good for more than mirepoix and bloody marys.
Don't you just love that hazelnuts are also called filberts?
This is Pecorino Romano. Parmesan works just great too.
Kale, Celery, + Fennel Salad
- 1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, sliced into thin strips
- 1 bulb fennel, shaved on mandolin (1/16 inch is the setting I use)
- 2 stalks celery, shaved on mandolin (also 1/16)
- 2/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped (I have substituted almonds, walnuts, and even pepitas. Whatever you fancy!)
- 1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
De-stem and shop the kale. Shave the fennel and celery. Toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and aromatic, about 3-4 minutes. Roughly chop nuts. Grate the cheese. Toss all ingredients together until well coated. Finish and salt and pepper. If I'm in the mood for heat (which is pretty much always) I like to serve with big pinches of red pepper flakes.
You can serve immediately but I think this salad is at its best when its dressed and left to sit for about 30 minutes, allowing the rough kale to mellow just slightly.