I have been having a bit of a love affair with this salad this summer.We met casually, in a friend’s back yard. I couldn’t stay away from it, and then I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Our friends came to the Dinner in White and I casually mentioned that they might bring this salad, you know, if they wanted. They did. I sat next to it at the table.
It’s been on my mind ever since. Today, by some stroke of luck, J was working from home, the baby was napping, and the older girls weren’t home yet. We took full advantage of that rare quiet moment together. By grilling a bunch of curly kale and having this salad for lunch.
Grilled Kale Salad with Ricotta and Plums (adapted from Bon Appetit): First make a vinaigrette in a medium bowl by whisking together 3 Tbsp. olive oil, 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp. freshly chopped thyme and 1 tsp. honey. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Thinly slice a few plums, toss them in the dressing, then scoop them out and set them aside.
Wash and dry a large bunch of curly kale. Leave the stems intact for now (it makes the leaves easier to handle on the grill) and brush each leaf lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill kale over a hot fire for about a minute on each side, until the edges are crisp but not burnt. Transfer to a cutting board, cut the stem out of the center of each leaf, and chop into large bite-sized pieces. Toss grilled leaves with a few spoonfuls of dressing.
Plate each salad individually by scooping some ricotta cheese onto a plate or bowl and seasoning it with salt and pepper. Pile kale leaves all around the cheese. Top with plums and drizzle with a little more vinaigrette.