Kale Salad with Smoked Almonds and Picada Crumbs

Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to the morale.  ~Elsa Schiaparelli

A member of the illustrious group of cancer-fighting cruciferous vegetables, kale is quickly becoming one of the most popular health food today. Ornamental kale has also taken conventional landscapes by storm. The health benefits of kale have been enjoyed since ancient Rome and history tells us that it was one of the most popular green leafy vegetables of the Middle Ages. A rich source of several vitamins and minerals, the vitamin K content in one cup of cooked kale stands out considerably amongst the rest of the nutrients.


  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 5 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1 cup smoked almonds
  • 4 ounces chewy white bread, cut into 1 inch cubes (I used an artisan sourdough)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 bunches lacinato kale, stemmed, washed, spun dry and thinly sliced crosswise (10 cups)


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the shallots, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Allow to sit 10 minutes. Whisk in the honey, 5 tablespoons of the oil and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; set aside.
  2. In a food processor, process the almonds until coarsely chopped, about 8 pulses; transfer to a large bowl. Add the bread to the processor and process to rough crumbs, about 20 seconds. Add the thyme, remaining 3 tablespoons oil. paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Process until incorporated, about 10 seconds. Transfer the crumb mixture to a large skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp and browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  3. Add the kale to the bowl with the almonds and massage the greens until the kale softens and darkens, 10 to 20 seconds. Add the dressing and crumbs and too to combine. Taste, then season with salt and pepper.
Kale Salad with Smoked Almonds and Picada Crumbs  by Christopher Kimball, Milk Street
and Donna Bradbury

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