Sunday, June 28, 2015

Roasted Garlic Dressing (for Kale or Potato Salad)

This recipe is adapted for one intended for potato salad (and I'm sure it would work well there), but I like it as a nice complement to a fresh kale salad, which needs a robust flavor without too much vinegar (since the kale is already a bit bitter itself).

Roasting the garlic takes about 1 hour (which you can easily do alongside anything else in the oven), but otherwise it's as quick to put together as any other salad dressing, and even tenderizes the kale a bit if you dress it ahead. Makes about 3/4 cup.


4 cloves roasted garlic (directions below)
1/2 cup very good olive oil
3/4 tsp. good coarse salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1-2 tblsp. white wine or champagne vinegar
3 tblsp. microplaned parmesan

To roast the garlic: cut the head crosswise so that the tops of the cloves are exposed. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Place on rack or pan in oven and roast until soft (about 1 hour at 350, though a shorter time at higher heat will also work). The garlic is about ready when you smell it, but be careful not to let it burn. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the cloves out of their papery skin.

To mix the dressing by hand, grind the garlic with the salt and a little bit of the olive oil in a mortar and pestle until a paste has formed. Scrape this into the remainder of the olive oil and add the vinegar, pepper, oregano and vinegar. Add the cheese and whisk to combine.

Alternatively, pulse the garlic with a little bit of olive oil in a food processor. Scrape the paste into the remaining olive oil, add the salt and the follow the directions above.

To prep the kale, fold each leaf in half lengthwise along the rib. Place the closed leaf on a cutting board and draw the blade of a chef's knife along the leaf just inside the stem. Wash the leaves well and then tear into bite-sized pieces. Drizzle dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat.