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Napa Kale Salad Recipe

Kale Salad of Roasted Grapes, Home Made Ricotta, Candied Walnuts, Balsamic Dressing With Grilled Bread By Chef Cat Alaimo

Prepared for Loretta Paganini School of Cooking; Cheese Series Chef Demonstration


4 oz. Ricotta*

3-4 Bunches Kale

10 oz. Red & Green Grapes, Washed & De-stemmed

1 Cup Candied Walnuts*

2-4 oz. Balsamic Dressing*

2 slices Grilled Bread*

First: Prepare Ricotta Cheese recipe in order to let hang while preparing salad. Next wash and pat dry Kale, de-stem leaves from stalks, and cut into chiffonade or ribbon strips, set aside in mixing bowl. Wash and de-stem grapes, place on sheet tray, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper, bake at 375* for 8-10 minutes, set aside to cool. Prepare Candied Nuts recipe. Prepare Balsamic Dressing recipe. Slice thick foccacia, or ciabatta bread slices, drizzle with olive oil, and balsamic vinegar and grill off. To compose salad, return to mixing bowl of kale, lightly dress greens and toss with roasted grapes. Transfer greens to plate and top over grilled bread and garnish with ricotta cheese and candied nuts.


2 cups whole milk

1/4 teaspoon table salt

2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar or lemon juice


Line colander with four layers of cheesecloth or 2 layers of food-safe paper towels and set over large bowl. Combine milk, salt, and vinegar or lemon juice in small sauce pan. Bring to gentle boil until lightly bubbling around edges, 2 to 4 minutes (milk should register about 165°F on an instant-read thermometer). Remove from stove, and stir gently for 5 seconds. Milk should separate into solid white curds and translucent liquid whey. If not, return to heat for 30 seconds longer. Repeat until fully separated.

Using slotted spoon or wire skimmer, transfer curds to prepared colander, cover exposed top with plastic wrap, and allow to drain until desired texture is reached. Store in covered container in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Candied Walnuts

1 ½ cup Brown Sugar

½ tsp. Cayenne, ground

1 T. Cumin, ground

½ T. Coriandor, ground

2 tsp. Salt, + to taste as tossing

½ cup Canola oil- add only to hot nuts while seasoning

Prepare Candied Walnuts by first making spice mixture. Then toast Nuts at 375* for 3-5 minutes. Toss hot nuts in mixing bowl, add spice mixture while gradually incorporating oil and season with salt to taste.

Basic Vinaigrette 101

Yield: ~ 1 Cup

1 part Vinegar (4oz)

1 Garlic clove, minced

2 tsp. Dijon Mustard

2 tsp. Honey

2 parts Olive Oil (8 oz)


Add ingredients in medium size bowl in order listed EXCEPT Oil. Start combining

ingredients with a whisk, then SLOWLY drizzle oil into bowl, in a STEADY & CONSISTENT stream. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Finished Product: just top wit Ricotta Cheese, or other Cheese of your desire.

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