I was inspired by our pantry. I took a lot of the greek and Turkish ingredients that we had. We put in the garden last year. Kale grows abundantly here. Kale and radishes. Of course, tomato season is starting now as of November on. We had all this kale. That’s all we had. Ahmet wasn’t sure if it would translate. If we use kale, we use it like the Italians, we put it in a stew, chop it up. It’s definitely a hot ingredient for our generation. It has a sharp bitterness to it so I thought, let’s bring some sweetness to it with the Turkish dates or some Greek or local honey, then I use olive oil, lemon, hot pepper flakes and a little bit of scallion.
2 bunches kale, stems removed, thinly chopped or chiffonade (cut in long thin, ribbon-like strips)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 shallot, chopped
1 teaspoon Greek Thyme honey (any organic honey will do)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup sliced almonds
8-10 dried Turkish dates, chopped (California or Spanish dates work as well)
2 1/2 ounces Kefalograviera (Greek sheep’s milk cheese) or Parmesan, shaved with a peeler or coarsely grated
In a big bowl, whisk extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, chopped shallots, honey, salt and hot pepper flakes together to create an emulsified dressing. Add your thinly sliced kale and chopped dates. In a dry pan, toast almonds over medium heat until they turn a golden color. Add toasted almonds, and grated/shaved Kefalograviera or Parmesan cheese to salad and give it a good toss mixing all the ingredients together.