What is a chopped salad?
Put simply, it’s any salad in which the ingredients are chopped into a uniform size. A chopped salad is a great way to make sure you get a bit of each ingredient in every bite.
How to make raw kale tender enough for salad? Chop, chop, chop!
Kale leaves are a bit tough to eat raw, but chop them up and they suddenly become tender! Here the chopped kale is tossed with pan-roasted Portobello mushrooms that have also been cut in small pieces – thus infusing every forkful of the salad with their robust flavor. The salad is then topped with savory bits of Parmesan and black sesame crisp. These crisps are easy to make in the oven, and they bring incredible texture to the salad. But if you’re “crunched” for time (pun intended!), you can make a simpler version of the salad without them – see Viviane’s Tip below.
Spunky and full of flavor, this chopped salad is a true winner.
Food & beer pairing: English-style Brown or Mild Ale with kale chopped salad
This salad is superb with a Brown Ale. Choose one with malty notes and little or no hops, like an English Brown Ale or Mild Ale. For something a bit more exotic, try a Chestnut Brown Ale. This rich and nutty beer is right at home with the roasted mushrooms and the savory Parmesan crisps. If you prefer to serve a wine, then a red that’s neither too acidic nor too tannic is best here. Try a Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley in France or a Pinot Noir from Burgundy or Oregon.
Chopped kale salad with pan-roasted Portobello & Parmesan-sesame crisps
active time: 30 min
For the vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- 1 1/2 tablespoons aged sherry vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the crisps
- 1/2 cup finely grated Reggiano Parmesan
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black sesame seeds (or regular sesame seeds)
For the mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 12 oz (340 g) Portobello mushrooms (2 medium) – cut in 1/2″ cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 6 oz (170 g) regular/curly kale – leaves torn off the stems and medium-chopped (6 cups)
- 1 large jelly roll pan (14″ x 17″) – lined with Silpat or parchment paper
- Step 1: To make the vinaigrette – Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until well blended. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (190°C).
- Step 2: To make the crisps – Place the Parmesan and sesame seeds in a small bowl and stir with a fork until well blended. Spoon one heaping tablespoon of the parmesan mixture on the prepared jelly roll pan. Repeat to make 6 crisps. Flatten with your fingers to spread into a 3″ circle. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until the Parmesan has melted and the crisps are golden. Transfer to a plate to cool to room temperature.
- Step 3: To make the mushrooms – Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter. As soon as the butter is melted, add the oil and mushrooms, toss well and spread evenly over the whole surface of the pan. Sauté undisturbed for 2 minutes until the mushrooms begin to brown. Toss again and continue to sauté until the mushrooms are golden-brown, about 4 to 6 minutes, tossing only from time to time. Add the salt and pepper, toss again and remove pan from heat.
- Step 4: To assemble the salad – Place the kale in a large bowl and add the warm mushrooms. Toss well to coat the kale with the oil from the mushrooms. Add the vinaigrette and toss again until well coated. Transfer to a large serving platter or individual bowls. Garnish the salad with the Parmesan crisps, breaking them in medium-sized pieces, and serve immediately.
- Want to make a simpler version of this salad? Omit the Parmesan-sesame crisps and garnish the salad with grated or shaved Parmesan.
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This salad sounds delicious! I have recently begun to enjoy kale salads and this one sounds like a nice one for dinner this week! Thank you for all of your creative recipes!
It would have to make the Parmesan crisps last, otherwise I would eat them before they made it to the salad. Great salad Viviane! and you’re right – Kale is a rockstar veggie!
What a gorgeous kale salad, Viviane! And those cheesy seedy crisps are totally irresistible!
Thank you, Angie!