Kale Salad Recipe
As the talented chef at the Asheville farm to table standard Posana, Peter Pollay has devised a menu of gluten-free recipes (a romantic concession to his wife's celiac disease) that doesn't skimp on high-concept execution and flavor.
Nothing in the tantalizing offerings suggest deprivation or dietary restrictions. One of the high points on a menu that includes inspired dishes like a beet and goat cheese cocktail (surprisingly good, bright and tangy) and an array of desserts to inspire gluttonous rhapsodies, is a kale salad. Simple in its preparation, the salad is mind-blowing in its toothsome pleasures thanks to the addition of plump currants, the pleasant crunch of toasted pumpkin seeds and the satisfying umami of North Carolina-based Three Graces Dairy-sourced Manchego cheese.
Like a growing number of chefs in food-forward Asheville, Pollay takes an active interest in sourcing the best quality produce. How active? He maintains a collection of raised beds in space he leases from an intown Asheville homeowner where he grows greens, herbs and vegetables for the restaurant. It's a clever, entrepreneurial-meets-altruism gesture that defines the spirit of this crunchy-cool mountain town that someone's backyard could become the staging ground for a well-known local chef's nightly menu.
One minute Pollay is harvesting sun-warmed greens to cart to the restaurant and hours later he's immaculate in chef's whites, greeting diners at this popular downtown restaurant, suggesting that this chef can do just about anything.
Manchego Kale Salad
• 1 bunch kale, thinly julienned
• 4 ounces Manchego cheese grated
• 2 ounces pumpkin seeds toasted
• 2 ounces currants
• 2 each lemons juiced
• 4 ounces olive oil
1. Rinse the kale. Julienne thinly. Place in a mixing bowl.
2. Cut lemons in half and squeeze juice over the kale.
3. Drizzle 2 ounces of the olive oil over kale. Massage the kale and ingredients.
4. Add the Manchego cheese, pumpkin seeds and currants.
5. Season to taste.
6. Plate a generous portion per person.
7. Garnish with more olive oil and pumpkin seeds.