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A deep green salad with succulent additions buried in its depths made this recipe a favourite at Felidia, the longtime New York restaurant run by Italian-American culinary maven Lidia Bastianich.
The creation of chef Fortunato Nicotra, it was a bestseller until Bastianich — TV star, cookbook author, operator of the Eataly food shops and maker of cookware and food products — closed the restaurant a few years ago.
Make the salad at home from the latest of her 18 cookbooks, called Lidia’s From Our Family Table to Yours (Appetite by Random House, $40). It’s a collection of more than 100 recipes in a book she co-authored with her daughter Tanya Bastianich Manuali. Originally from Croatia, Bastianich immigrated to the U.S. in 1958. Her new book has a family-album look, thanks to photographs of family and recipes. She says she thinks of this book as “a love letter” to her followers.
Kale salad with avocado
2 large eggs, hard-boiled
2 tablespoons (30 mL) red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon (15 mL) Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, peeled, crushed
¼ cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
Leaves of 1 large bunch curly kale, washed, spun dry, cut in thin strips*
2 ripe avocados, peeled, sliced
½ cup (125 mL) toasted pistachios, coarsely chopped
*Estimate 1 bunch kale weighs 1 pound (500 g) and makes 5 cups (1 L) salad.
Cut eggs in half, chop whites coarsely and set aside.
Put yolks in a mini food processor and add vinegar, mustard, garlic and ½ teaspoon (2 mL) salt. Pulse to make a paste.
With processor running, add olive oil in a slow, steady stream so it makes a smooth, thick dressing.
Put prepared kale in a large serving bowl. Drizzle it with a couple of tablespoons of the dressing. Season salad with ½ teaspoon (2 mL) salt and massage it with your hands for a minute or two to slightly wilt the leaves.
Let salad rest for 15 minutes.
Add egg whites, avocados and pistachios. Toss well and serve.
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