Roman trattoria CINQUECENTO in Boston’s hip and historic South End serves a version of this kale ribbon salad. It holds up beautifully in the summer heat, but remains a favorite in autumn, served alongside butternut squash risotto or a hearty winter short rib stew with polenta. One of the few dressed green salads that is just as wonderful the next day, Tuscan kale is a deep blue green, tender brassica suited to eating raw. Pair with toasted pignoli, strong, tangy Ewe's milk Pecorino Romano, earthy tasting black TRUFFLE HONEY and finish with a squeeze of lemon to activate the salivary glands--visions of silvery olive groves, medieval villages perched on hilltops, and fields of sunflowers may momentarily transport you to the sun kissed rolling hills of Tuscany.
- Remove the tough rib from the kale leaves. Fold big leaf in half and then roll like a cigar. Chiffonade the leaves in 1/8 inch pieces. The kale should look like thin ribbons.
- In a dry SMALL PAN, toast the pine nuts over low heat until golden brown. Allow the nuts to cool to room temperature.
- Whisk the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and truffle honey together. Pour dressing over the kale ribbons, toss to combine, and let macerate for at least 15 minutes and up to 3 hours before serving.
- . Just before serving, use a vegetable peeler to shave pecorino over salad. Add the reserved pine nut and toss the salad.
- Sprinkle salad with sea salt flakes and a few grinds of freshly ground pepper.
While not exactly the same, wildflower honey may be substituted for the truffle honey, and mild, nutty cow's milk Parmesan Reggiano for the strong, tangy Ewe's milk Pecorino Romano. The overall taste will still be terrific, just a wee bit more subtle. Tuscan kale is also known as Lacinto, dinosaur, and cavelo nero kale.