Holiday Recipe: Chef Carey Savona's Heirloom Kale Salad

CTbites Team
"By far our most requested recipe (I get at least three a week) is for our kale salad. I know that kale has jumped the shark, but this recipe was featured in the CT Farm to Table Cookbook and it fits well on the holiday table; healthy, but still very flavor forward," says Chef Carey Savona of Heirloom in New Haven. Enjoy this recipe for Heirloom's Kale Salad. 

Heirloom Kale Salad

(serves 3-4)
1 Head of Green Leafy Kale - washed, dried, stemmed and ripped (use your hands to crush and rip)
3 tbls toasted, crumbled hazelnuts
3 tbls hazelnut oil
1/4 cup grated ricotta salata
1/4 cup toasted breadcrumbs (make fresh with just salt and olive oil)
1/4 cup *cherry vinegar or *cranberry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
*Cherry Vinegar or Cranberry Vinegar
1 cup pitted cherries (frozen pitted is fine) or 1 cup cranberries (frozen is fine)
.5 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar
salt (scant)
In pot add all ingredients, bring to a boil - stir - simmer and reserve and strain.
Let cool and reserve
- In a bowl add:  Ripped kale - add hazelnuts, most of breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, half of the ricotta salata, hazelnut oil, and cooled cherry or cranberry vinegar
- Toss well and coat all of the kale well
- Serve in a bowl, top off with more breadcrumbs, ricotta salata and hazelnut oil
Gunpowder Mushrooms
Another fan favorite that takes the humble cremini or button mushroom and transforms them into an abstract concept of umami bliss.  This dish just wins and its effectiveness is in its simplicity and magical metamorphosis.

Gunpowder Mushrooms

4-6 cups sliced cremini or button mushrooms, they will reduce
1 large bunch fresh thyme, flecked
1 - 1.5 oz worcestershire sauce
1 - 1.5 oz sherry vinegar
1 - 1.5 oz soy sauce
1 cup sour cream or heavy cream
butter, scant
olive oil scant
salt and pepper
In a large wide saute pan or roasting pan over medium heat add olive oil and butter, add mushrooms and sweat.
Add thyme and continue to caramelize (the mushrooms will release a good amount of moisture).  As the moisture evaporates, add the worcestershire sauce, add sherry vinegar, add soy sauce and continue to reduce.  Add salt and pepper.
Let this reduce and caramelize and the mushrooms and liquid will start to transform.
Lower the heat slightly and add the sour cream or heavy cream, reduce.  Taste again for salt and pepper.
Reduce and stir until you have a creamy mass of caramelized mushrooms, serve