In the Kitchen: Kale Salad, Croutons, Pancetta & Goat Cheese Dressing

WTNH– Heide Lang from the The Fig Cooking School shows us how to make Kale Salad with Garlic Croutons, Pancetta and Creamy Goat Cheese Dressing.

This kale salad can make you a kale lover even if you think you hate it!

The key to preparing this naturally bitter vegetable is to chop it into small pieces and to “massage” the leaves before adding other ingredients. It also helps to add a really flavorful dressing, and this one is so simple!

The Fig Cooking School, LLC is an exciting gourmet cooking school that teaches home cooks how to prepare fabulous, interesting food without spending hours in the kitchen.

For more information, go to www.figcookingschool.com.

Kale Salad with Garlic Croutons, Pancetta and Creamy Goat Cheese Dressing Recipe:

Serves 4-6

Ingredients-
•    8 ounces pancetta sliced thin or 6 slices bacon
•    6 cups day old Italian or white bread cut into one inch cubes
•    6 tablespoons garlic oil
•    6-8 cups fresh organic kale finely chopped
•    2 cups cherry tomatoes (optional)
•    1 medium red onion thinly sliced
•    3 tablespoons white balsamic, champagne or pinot grigio vinegar
•    2 tablespoons heavy cream or buttermilk
•    2 tablespoons mayonnaise
•    4 ounces goat cheese
•    1 teaspoon salt
•    ½ teaspoon pepper
•    ½ cup olive oil

Preparation:
1.    Heat 12-14 inch skillet over medium heat and add pancetta.
2.    Cook until the pancetta or bacon is brown and crispy but not burnt.
3.    Remove from the stove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb the oil.
4.    Set aside and crumble the pancetta or bacon once it is cool.
5.    Place bread cubes in a bowl and mix with garlic oil (you may also use olive oil if you don’t have garlic oil on hand.) Bake cubes at 375 degrees for 5-7 minutes, until crisp but not brown..
6.    Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. *
7.    Place the kale in a large salad bowl.
8.    Add the pancetta, the croutons, tomatoes, and onion. Gently toss well.
9.    Place vinegar, cream (or buttermilk), mayonnaise, salt and pepper in a small chopper or food processor and puree. Whisk in olive oil until it is fully incorporated.
10.    Pour three quarters of the vinaigrette over the salad, mix well, and taste. Add more vinaigrette if needed according to your taste.  Place the remaining vinaigrette in a sealed container in the refrigerator where it will last for at a week.
*You can also buy store bought croutons and skip the crouton making part of the recipe altogether!

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