Lunchbreak: Jonathan Waxman’s Kale Salad

Midday News

Jonathan Waxman, Chef / Owner of Barbuto

Paul Kahan, Partner / Executive Chef of One Off Hospitality Group

To find the book: The Barbuto Cookbook

More on Chef Waxman: @ChefJWaxman & @BarbutoNYC

More on Paul Kahan and avec River North: @avecChicago, @PaulKahan, @OneOffHospitality


Kale Salad

Recipe from The Barbuto Cookbook by Chef Jonathan Waxman

Serves 6


8 ounces kale (please leave the stems intact)

6 fresh basil leaves, patted dry and rolled like a cigar

2–4 salt-cured anchovies, rinsed and deboned

2 cloves garlic, peeled, green shoots removed, and smashed

1 egg yolk, at room temperature

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Sea salt
1 1⁄2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 1⁄2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1⁄2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

1⁄3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1 tablespoon toasted breadcrumbs


  1. Wash the kale well and dry in a salad spinner. On a wooden (this is truly important advice—plastic is impossible) cutting board, carefully slice the kale as thin of strips as possible. Place the kale in a salad bowl. Keep cold. Clean the board and wipe it dry.
  2. On the cutting board, finely mince the basil. Add the anchovies and garlic and continue to mince until you achieve a paste.
  3. In another bowl, combine the basil and garlic paste with the egg yolk, mustard, 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt, red wine vinegar, and the lemon juice. Use a whisk and mix well. Drizzle in the oil, whisking continuously, until you achieve a broken emulsion.
  4. Pour 4 oz (1/2 cup) of the dressing over the kale, enough to coat the leaves well (reserve the rest for another day). Using as much force as possible, crush the kale and dressing. (We use our hands at Barbuto, but with gloves of course! Buy a box of surgical gloves and you will find them indispensable.) This will release the enzymes from the kale to interact with the dressing’s acid and salt. This creates magic! Add a pinch of salt and a few turns of pepper.
  5. Sprinkle with the cheese and breadcrumbs; toss well, taste for seasoning, and serve within 1 hour. Letting it sit for a little while does wonders for the flavor.

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