1 bunch curly kale, taken off stalks, washed, and massaged
½ cup white beans, soaked overnight (for this dish I use great northern beans, but any white bean will do)
Pecorino Romano, freshly grated (Not giving you an amount here. You should get a block and grate it over the top to your liking)
½ Cara Cara orange, peeled and divided into slices (if you can’t find these, you can use a blood orange or a grapefruit)
½ cup walnuts, toasted and crushed
6 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
1 tbsp shallot, minced
1 tbsp orange zest
Salt, to taste
¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 ½ tsp coriander seed
1 ½ tsp fennel seed
1 tsp yellow mustard seed
1 tsp black peppercorn
Juice from ½ a lemon
Salt, to taste
Notes before you begin:
There are a few different components here: The salad, the yogurt, and the dressing. If you want to make this a little more simply or if you don’t have the time, you can do it without the yogurt and it will still be delicious!
We are going to be toasting and grinding our own spices. By heating up the spices, we are going to increase their complexity and depth of flavor. To grind them, you can either use a spice grinder (the easiest method), a mortar and pestle, or the back of a pan. If you use the back of a pan or mortar and pestle, it will take a little time but will be worth it in the end.
If you are using dried beans: Drain the white beans and place them in a pot of salted cold water, submerged by two inches and bring to a boil. After two minutes, reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 ½ hours. Strain and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350, place the walnuts on a sheet pan and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool, roughly chop, and set aside.
Pour the lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, capers, shallot, and orange zest into a bowl and whisk together until everything is thoroughly combined. Try a little and salt to taste. Once it is salted to your liking, set aside.
Add the coriander seed, fennel seed, yellow mustard seed, and black peppercorn into a medium pan. Place on medium-high heat and shake the pan around to gently move the spices. Once you see them begin to brown and release a strong aroma (about 5–7 minutes) remove them from the heat. Be careful not to let them sit on the pan for too long or they will burn.
Using a spice grinder, spice mill, mortar and pestle, or the back of a frying pan, grind the spices into a rough powder. You only want to see a few rough chunks of spice left by the time you are done. Pour the spice mixture, plain yogurt, and lemon juice into a bowl, and stir together. Salt to taste and set aside.
Set a pan over high heat and wait until it is ripping hot (about a minute). Place each of the citrus slices on the pan and cook until charred (30 seconds — 1 minute). Flip each piece and repeat. There will be a little smoke and that’s ok! Once both sides of the slices are deeply browned, remove from the pan and let cool for 2 minutes. Then, cut each slice into ½ inch pieces and set aside.
Tear the kale leaves off their stalks into 1 inch pieces, place in a large bowl with 1 tbsp of the dressing and massage it, gently squeezing the leaves and ensuring each of them are coated. You should massage it for a while. Kale can be really tough and bitter on its own. This process begins to break it down and will make the kale both easier to chew and tastier!
Time to assemble the salad! Gently toss together more of the dressing and kale, tasting every so often and, once it is dressed to your liking, add in the beans, citrus, and walnuts. Thoroughly mix together.
On a large dish or serving plate, spread the yogurt mixture across the bottom to your taste. Add the salad mix on top of the yogurt and shred Pecorino over the top. Enjoy!