Redbor Kale

Photo: Danny Kim. Illustration by John Burgoyne.

This hybrid kale comes in a shadeof purple so striking even Prince would say it was a bit much. It’s grown as often for ornamental purposes as it is for eating, but don’t let that discourage you from tossing it raw in a salad, like this one from Northern Spy Food Co. (Chef Nathan Foot uses the crinkly-leafed lacinato kale, but his method applies just as well to other varieties.) The trick is cutting the leaves into thin strips and hand- mixing them vigorously with olive oil, salt, and lemon juice as if you were shampooing a Labradoodle, which has a delicious tenderizing effect.

Nathan Foot’s Kale Salad

2 1/2 cups redbor kale (at Greenmarket’s Muddy River stand)
1 tbs. lemon juice
2 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup toasted almonds, halved
1/4 cup crumbled Cabot clothbound Cheddar (or any good-quality, well-aged artisanal Cheddar)
1/2 cup cubed, seasoned, and roasted kabocha squash
Pecorino Romano to taste

(1) Cut off the bottom stems from the bunch of kale and discard. Remove stems from the individual leaves by folding each leaf in half and (2) cutting away the stem at the fold. Stack several stemmed leaves together at a time, roll stack into a tight cylinder, and (3) slice the cylinder crosswise at ¼-inch intervals. Add the resulting kale strips to a large mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and, using your hands, mix well. Mix in the almonds, Cheddar, and cubed squash. Divide salad onto 2 plates. Finely grate Pecorino over each portion. Serves 2. (Adapted from Northern Spy Food Co.)

Redbor Kale