Kale Salad ~ Gusto 101 Inspired ~ | GRF, V
If you (live in Toronto and) know, you know. The Gusto 101 Cavolo Nero is like the Drake of salads. Toronto’s claim to fame. Lol ok not really – but people do go crazy for it. I mean it is very delicious and looks pretty and feels healthy because #kale. Lucky for us it’s also very easy to make at home. It is one of my go to salads for party’s because kale is so good at traveling and can be made ahead of time. If you somehow have gone your whole life without having the Gusto salad – go now. Order the Cavolo Nero and their house red ($1/1oz) and you are living my friend.
I’ve had the salad a couple times and have just replicated it by using similar ingredients and making a dressing that I think sort of tastes like it. It isn’t a perfect replica. I don’t have industry friends who gave me the official recipe – yet. But it is pretty darn close!
First things first – you need to go read my Lesson in Kale post because you must must must do all that first before making the salad. The prepping of kale is pretty much the most important aspect. and whatever you do, DO NOT go buy pre chopped kale. In terms of choosing your TYPE of kale, technically you should be using lacinato (Cavolo Nero literally means Italian kale) – however I actually prefer this recipe with curly kale. Craziness I know. I will leave the decision up to you. Try it both ways and let me know what YOU like best!
Ok – now that you have read my kale lesson and your kale is now all shredded and beautiful 🙂 continue below…
What I use (the ratios below are for 1 large individual serving – if you are serving a group or party, multiply accordingly)
- 2 cups massaged kale
- 1/4 cup dressing (+ more to taste and depending on preference)
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/4 cup dried currents (you can use other dried fruit, but Gusto uses currents. Bulk Barn has them *thumbs up*)
- 1/4 cup pecorino cheese (finely grated – preferably on a microplane because it will mix into the salad better)
- + more cheese for garnish
- Notes: I know it seems like a lot of pine nuts and a lot of currents for the amount of kale, and you don’t NEED to use that much, but I find this salad is best when it is jacked up and every bite has a bit of everything. So if you can, don’t be chincy about it.
What I do
- Toss salad together in a big bowl with big pinch of salt. Reserve a little bit of the garnishes (nuts, currents, cheese) so you can add more on top once you plate the dish. I like when salads are mixed properly so the goods go throughout, but are also plated properly with garnishes on top to highlight what’s in the salad.
- If you are serving this on individual plates and want the classic height of the Gusto 101 salad. Here is my trick…. Grab any flat sided glass (not too tall of a glass) and fill it with mixed salad. Pack it in fairly tight and tip over onto plate. The salad is dressed with oil so should just slide out – give it a few love taps if not. Carefully remove glass so the greens stay in the molded shape. Top with remaining garnishes and voila! Cavolo Nero at home!
Note: If you are bringing this to a party, I would prep everything in advance and just mix it all before you serve it.