Baby Kale Salad with Salami
One of my favorite salads is the old-time Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon and Hard-Boiled Egg. The other day I knew I had a couple of hard-boiled eggs in the fridge and so I hoped to quickly whip up a salad for lunch. I hit a stumbling block when what I thought was a container of baby spinach tucked in the crisper drawer was actually baby kale. And – I didn’t really feel like thawing some bacon from the freezer and splattering my stove. I decided to work with what I had easily available and came up with a new favorite: Baby Kale Salad with Sautéed Salami and Hard Boiled Egg.
Quickly sautéing sliced hard dry salami, such as genoa salami, soppressata or even pepperoni, is a nice stand-in for bacon in a salad. It gives the same salty, meaty flavor and a bit of crunch and is far less messy to cook. I find that baby kale stays fresh in the fridge for a long time and since it’s so tender it doesn’t need to be cooked – it tastes delicious in a raw salad. In my usual wilted spinach salads I make a dressing with a little olive oil, a tablespoon or so of the hot bacon grease combined with red wine or apple cider vinegar. For this kale variation I decided to blend red wine vinegar and white balsamic vinegar which softened the flavor a bit. The combination of greens, meat and egg make for a substantial salad as is, but you could add some goat cheese and nuts and enjoy it as a filling lunch!
BABY KALE SALAD with SALAMI
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
6 slices of hard salami, cut into strips
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 large package Baby Kale (I like Nature’s Promise Organic Baby Kale from Stop & Shop)
2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
Fresh goat cheese/chopped nuts, optional
In a small sauté pan, place 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add the strips of salami and sauté on low heat until crisp and lightly browned.
To make the vinaigrette dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the red wine vinegar and the white balsamic vinegar until emulsified. If you prefer, put into a sealed jar and shake vigorously to blend well.
Place the baby kale in a large salad bowl and lightly toss with the vinaigrette to make sure all the kale is coated. Top with the sautéed salami strips and the chopped eggs and toss again. If there’s some flavorful oil left in your sauté pan, don’t waste it - add it to the salad.
If you’d like, you can also add some fresh goat cheese and/or chopped nuts for extra flavor.