My daughter and I visited family in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend. After a fun-filled trip to the farmers market with my nieces and nephew on Saturday morning, my sister-in-law prepared a delicious kale salad with local Manchego cheese for lunch. Inspired by her salad, I decided to create a recipe for kale salad with ingredients from my pantry. The abundance of carrots in the market led me to pickle several jars of orange and red carrots over the last few weeks. I combined the kale with a few of the red carrots, pistachios and Pecorino Romano; a delicious combination of hot, salty, sweet, sour, and crunchy.
Kale Salad with Pickled Carrots, Pistachios, and Pecorino Romano
- 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
- 2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 bunches lacinato kale, stems removed, leaves thinly chopped
- ½ cup pickled carrots*
- ¼ cup pistachios, shelled and toasted
- ¼ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
Combine vinegar, red onion, honey, salt, and red chili flakes in a small bowl and allow to sit for 10-15 minutes. Add the olive oil to the bowl and whisk to combine. In a large bowl, combine kale with the vinaigrette and massage gently with your hands. Allow the kale salad to marinate for at least 20 minutes prior to serving. Before serving add pickled carrots, pistachios, and cheese and toss to combine.
* Raw or roasted carrots can be substituted for the pickled carrots
(adapted slightly from The Preservation Kitchen by Paul Virant)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 6 cups carrots. bias cut (1 ½-2 pounds carrots)
In a sauce pan, prepare the brine by combining the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt and bringing to a boil. Once the sugar has dissolved, decrease the heat to low keeping the brine hot while preparing the other ingredients.
Add the coriander seeds, fennel seeds, black peppercorns, and red chili flakes to a small sauté pan and toast over medium heat for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Set aside.
Sterilize the pint jars in a canner or a large pot fitted with a rack. Fill the canner with water to cover the jars and bring to a boil. At the same time, place the lids in a small saucepan, cover with water, and bring the lids to a simmer. The simmering water will soften the seal on the lids. Remove the jars and lids from the boiling water just prior to filling and place them on a clean towel.
Divide the toasted spices equally and spoon into the bottom of the jars.
Blanch the carrots for 1 minute in a pot of boiling, salted water. Pack blanched carrots into the jars. Pour the brine over the carrots leaving ½ inch of room at the top. Tap the jars gently to eliminate air pockets around the carrots. Add more brine to return the headspace to ½ inch. Wipe the rims with a clean, damp towel and screw on lids taking care to ensure they are snug but not tight.*
Place the filled jars back in the canner and add enough water to cover the top of the jars by 1 inch. Bring water back to a boil and process for 10 minutes. The processing time should begin once the water reaches a boil. After 10 minutes remove the jars and allow to cool on a wire rack.
The recipe can be doubled if you wish to preserve a larger quantity of carrots.
* If you prefer not to process the pickled carrots, simply place the lids on the jars, allow to cool to room temperature, and refrigerate. Pickled carrots will keep for at least a week in the refrigerator.