FRIDAY OPEN THREAD

OMG this week we have a bloody fabulous recipe, courtesy of Mycologie! It does not involve fungus!

Ribboned Lacinato Kale Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette & Soft Boiled Eggs

This salad is inspired by one I had at a restaurant in the past year or so. I can’t remember the restaurant, who I was with, or when I went, but I remember the salad.

Lacinato kale is also called Tuscan kale or, more awesomely, dinosaur kale. It is very dark green and is different (and slightly more expensive) than curly leaf “regular” kale. I find that it’s less texturally-challenging to eat in raw form than curly leaf kale and the flavor is less plain-green and more earthy-green so it’s worth seeking out and spending a little extra for this variety.

Start by slicing the mid-rib out of each kale leaf. A good way to do this is to fold the leaf in half and slice along the rib. You’ll be left with two long halves and you can also do multiple leaves at once this way. Chop the kale into long ribbons. I like ribbons because I twirl them around my fork spaghetti-style, but if that doesn’t sound appealing, cut them into whatever size or shape you like. Put your chopped kale into a big bowl and douse it with olive oil. I rub the oil in because allegedly it softens up the leaves a bit but I have no actual evidence of this so I don’t know if it’s worth the greasy hands. Either way, set your oiled leaves aside while you make your eggs, your vinaigrette, and the rest of your salad. The oiled kale will keep well in the fridge for four or five days, so I sometimes make a giant batch of kale ribbons, oil it, then pull out what I want for individual salads.

Let’s get the eggs started first and then we’ll do the vinaigrette while they cook. I love a good soft yolk in a boiled egg, so I’m going to tell you how to cook them with soft yolks, sort the consistency of jam. If that’s not your thing, cook your eggs how you like them. There are many ways to achieve the outcome of a boiled egg with a soft yolk. This is one way that never seems to fail and is really easy : Bring water (enough to cover the eggs you’ll cook) to a boil in a pot. While that’s happening, make a little ice bath to receive the eggs when they’re done. Once your water is at a full rolling boil, gently lower in your eggs with a slotted spoon (or any appropriate egg-lowering device). (Ed.: Next week we’ll have instructions for a miniature stove-top rope-and-pulley setup!) (Not really.) Boil the eggs for EXACTLY SIX MINUTES AND THIRTY SECONDS. Remove them with the slotted spoon to your ice bath until you’re ready to eat them.

While the eggs are boiling, finish up your salad and vinaigrette. This is a go-to balsamic vinaigrette that I use for the majority of my salads. The basic ratio for vinaigrette is 3 parts oil to one part acid. I shake the ingredients up in one of the little jam jars that seem to just arrive in my kitchen. I eyeball it – pour some oil in a jar, add a bit less balsamic vinegar and then a dollop of honey. Shake it up until it’s emulsified. Taste it: if it tastes good, it’s ready. If it doesn’t, add what it needs until it tastes good.

Finish your salad with chopped kalamata olives, capers, sliced cherry tomatoes, cracked pepper, and a generous amount of grated parmesan or pecorino romano. Don’t be shy with the cheese, we all know that’s the best part. Toasted walnuts would also be delicious here. Pour on your vinaigrette and toss with some tongs. Slice your eggs in half and sprinkle them with salt or the remaining vinaigrette.

This is a salad so it’s infinitely customizable. You hate capers or kalamatas? I hear you, they’re not for everyone! Replace them with something you like or leave them out. You’re vegan? Cool. Leave out the cheese, sub in your favorite vegan protein for the eggs and replace the honey with brown sugar in the vinaigrette.

~ ~ * ~ ~

Well now I have to plan a trek all the way up to Fresh Market to attempt acquisition of some lacinato kale, yes please. (It’s like half a damn hour away, but it’s right by the movie theater, Black Panther is imminent, and they also have those amazing chocolate-covered dried cherries, so.) Thanks so much for sharing this, Mycologie! <3

What’s coming next week or otherwise soonish : I started Retin-A micro, so some preliminary thoughts on that! Four more eyeshadows from a brand you might not be familiar with! Another Mascara Face-Off, this time with Armani and Dolce & Gabbana! And some other stuff!

What’s up for this weekend with me : I just recolored my hair same thing as last time, yawn…but I’m doing the BF’s hair SILVERRRRR omg I’m gonna be so jealous. Otherwise, my plans consist of 1) one or more beers/cocktails, 2) loud music, and 3) straightening up my office/glitter lab, which is a freaking disaster. And also 4) taking a shit load of photos of stuff for this blog, wiv mah new phone, yes I finally upgraded the sad elderly iPhone 5S, and ps I’m really digging this silicone case I got for it which looks like glossy black-veined white marble and was a whopping $10.99 at Amazon :

What’s up for this weekend with you : ???