From Aspen Magazine:
Vegetable dishes seldom get star billing in Aspen’s protein-centric restaurants, but the kale salad appetizer at LuLu Wilson is a notable exception. “We sell 40 to 50 orders a night,” Executive Chef Shane Coffey says. “That’s one out of every three customers — we’ve already sold over 4,000 kale salads this year.”
“I developed the recipe when I worked in New York back in 2004,” Coffey says. “It took me about a week or so to get it right. When I brought it to Aspen, Craig and Samantha (Cordts-Pearce, LuLu’s owners) embraced it immediately.”
Coffey graciously agreed to share the recipe. “Use the amounts as a guideline,” he says. “Cooking by taste, touch, and sight will give your dishes some spirit.” — T.P.
LuLu Wilson Kale Salad
One serving. Can be made a few hours ahead, but better if prepared just before serving.
2 ounces dark green kale with no yellow edges
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup currants
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup pine nuts, not toasted
Using a very sharp knife, cut away the kale leaves’ tough center stems. Roll the leaves like a cigar and cut them into very fine thin slices, about 1/8th-inch wide. Put kale and olive oil into a bowl and toss by hand. Add the lemon juice and toss again. Add the currants, parmesan, and pine nuts and toss by hand until the mixture is soft. Taste and adjust quantities if needed. Serve on a cold plate.
NOTE: “Cut the kale using an extremely sharp knife,” says Coffey. “A dull knife will crush the kale and make the salad soggy. It’s also fun to use a recipe like this to learn a technique like chiffonade (where herbs and leafy vegetables are cut into long, thin strips).”