If you’ve dined at either Cook in Newton or Tryst in Arlington, there’s a good chance you’ve had chef-owner Paul Turano’s bright tasting salad of finely shredded kale and Brussels sprouts with toasted hazelnuts, Parmesan, and verjus vinaigrette. Verjus (from the French vert jus, meaning “green juice”) is the pressed, unfermented juice of unripe wine grapes, used as vinegar in salad dressings and sauces (red and white verjus are less acidic than red and white wine vinegars). Substitute red wine vinegar and a little sugar, if you like. Lacinato or Tuscan kale, called black or dinosaur kale, with its dark blue-green, slightly wrinkled leaves, is used here and massaged first.
Massaging tenderizes the raw, fibrous kale and sprout leaves. “Get in there with your hands,” says Turano. “Work the dressing into the salad.” He’s a fan of this healthful dish. “I eat it about three times a week so I feel good about myself.”
|½||small shallot, finely chopped|
|½||cup red verjus (or red wine vinegar mixed with 2 teaspoons sugar)|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|½||cup canola or grapeseed oil|
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1. In a bowl, mix together the shallot, verjus, salt, and pepper.
2. Gradually whisk in the oil. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like.
|½||cup skinned hazelnuts|
|1||bunch Lacinato or Tuscan kale, stemmed, center ribs removed, and washed|
|½||pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed|
|2||ounces Parmesan cheese, grated or shaved (about 1 cup)|
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Have on hand a small baking dish.
2. In the dish, place the hazelnuts. Toast in the oven, shaking the pan occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the nuts are lightly browned. Cool and chop coarsely.
3. Pat the kale dry. Pile a handful of leaves on a cutting board and slice into very thin ribbons (called chiffonade). Repeat with the remaining leaves. Place in a large bowl.
4. Using a mandoline or sharp chef’s knife, shave or thinly slice the Brussels sprouts. Add to the kale with half the hazelnuts and half the Parmesan. Pour about ¾ of the dressing over the salad. Using clean hands, massage the dressing into the greens for 2 to 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning, and add a little more dressing, or salt and pepper, if you like. Sprinkle with the remaining hazelnuts and Parmesan. Adapted from Cook