by Judy Kim
Margherita Kale Salad with Crispy Pepperoni and Blistered Tomato Vinaigrette
Yield: 4 servings
If you're one of those people who eat their salad on top of pizza (like me!), this recipe is for you. Classic pizza elements mixed with tender butter lettuce and crunchy baby kale.
This salad is a flavor explosion. Instead of using a regular slice of cheese pizza, I opted for an Italian favorite, tomato focaccia and borrowed a technique for crispy pepperoni cups done at my favorite local pizzeria. Typically salad doesn't involve a lot of cooking or fancy techniques, perhaps a big selling point, but it's fun to learn a new trick. Here's one I learned from some chef friends on making pretty and crunchy radishes. Simply take finely shaved radishes and plunge them in ice water; the result is a pretty translucent extra-crispy radish and healthy pizza topper.
Thank you Earthbound Farm for providing such fresh organic greens.
Check out my Snapchat cooking demo video below. You can find me on 👻 Snapchat = thejudylab
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper. Wash all the tomatoes; trim and core only the beefsteak tomatoes. Place cherry tomatoes with the vine on the sheet pan. Using a paring knife, score an X on the bottom of the beefsteak tomato; add tomatoes core side down. Using the side of a chefs knife lightly smash the garlic cloves; keeping skin intact place on sheet pan and 1 quarter of red onion. Drizzle with olive oil and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Roast for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fill a large metal bowl halfway with cold water and 5 to 6 ice cubes. Wash and trim radishes keeping tails. Using a mandoline thinly slice radishes lengthwise and place in ice bath. This will create a crisp, firm and slightly curly radish.
- Slice remaining red onion using the mandoline, about 3/8-inch thick or desired thickness. Transfer to a bowl and add seasoned rice vinegar. You may may need more vinegar depending on size of bowl to ensure all onions are submerged and will guarantee even pickling.
- Arrange pepperoni in a even layer without overlapping on a rimmed sheet pan without parchment paper. Change oven to broil setting. Roast in oven for a few minutes until pepperoni curls up into little cup shapes, tops are crispy and slightly charred. Note: Since these are broiled I suggest to omit parchment paper as it runs a risk of catching fire. If you prefer parchment paper for easy clean up trim the paper so there is not any excess above the rim.
- Transfer cherry tomatoes on the vine to a plate until ready to assemble salad. Place remaining roasted beefsteak tomato, onion wedge and garlic without the peel into a blender. Season with red pepper chili flakes, 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Add champagne vinegar and pulse until well incorporated. With the motor running drizzle 1/2 cup olive oil slowly. Blend just until dressing is emulsified but do not over blend or it will be foamy.
- On a large platter place tomato focaccia squares. In a large mixing bowl add Earthbound Farm Organic Sweet Kale mix, radishes and pickled onions. Drizzle 1/4 cup of dressing and toss together by hand. Place a handful of salad on each piece of foccacia. Tear the bocconcini by hand and scatter all over. Place blistered cherry tomatoes and pepperoni. Sprinkle parmesan cheese, red pepper chili flakes, parsley and add sprigs of fresh basil; drizzle with olive oil and serve additional dressing on the side.
3 medium beefsteak tomatoes
1 lb cherry tomatoes, preferably on the vine
2 garlic cloves
1 large red onion, trimmed and cut into quarters lengthwise
extra-virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch radishes
1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
8 oz sliced pepperoni
1/4 tsp red pepper chili flakes
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
large tomato focaccia, cut into 4 squares
1 pkg Earthbound Farm Organic Sweet Kale mix
8 oz bocconcini, fresh mozzarella
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
1 bunch fresh basil sprigs
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