In the world of winter greens, kale is king. It's become a shining star among veggies in general, thanks to its reputation as a healthy superfood. "Nowadays, it seems like everyone in the world knows that kale is good for you," says Wolfgang Puck—himself a king among chefs and garnering some of the best restaurant reviews of his amazing career. "It's incredibly healthful, rich in vitamins A, C, and K, and packed with calcium, iron, and other nutrients." Kale also offers the earthy flavor and chewy texture that make for supremely satisfying salads. Puck developed the salad here—a variation of which will be served at the Governor's Ball following the Academy Awards—because he loves strong flavors. "Both kale and artichokes have strong flavors, so I thought, why not mix them together?" A pressure cooker speeds the artichoke prep time. Pine nuts add crunch; plumped raisins balance the zingy Dijon-spiked dressing. Try his version this month at the café at Spago in Las Vegas.
Kale Salad with Grilled ArtichokesHands-on: 40 min. Total: 1 hr. 15 min.
If you don't have a pressure cooker, simmer the artichoke mixture in a Dutch oven for 40 minutes or until tender.
2 lemons, halved crosswise2 cups dry white wine2 cups water1 bay leaf1 thyme sprig4 large artichokesCooking spray3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided½ teaspoon black pepper, divided¼ teaspoon salt, divided¼ cup golden raisins½ cup hot water2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice1 tablespoon minced shallots½ teaspoon Dijon mustard¼ teaspoon sugar6 cups chopped Lacinato kale¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
1. Squeeze juice from lemon halves into a 6- or 8-quart pressure cooker. Add lemon halves, wine, 2 cups water, bay leaf, and thyme to cooker. Cut off stem of each artichoke to within 1 inch of base; peel stem. Remove bottom leaves and tough outer leaves, leaving tender heart and bottom. Add artichokes to pressure cooker. Close lid securely; bring to high pressure over high heat. Reduce heat to medium or level needed to maintain high pressure; cook 10 minutes. Remove from heat; release pressure through steam vent, or place cooker under cold water to release pressure. Remove lid; let stand 30 minutes. Remove artichokes from cooking liquid. Cut each artichoke in half lengthwise. Remove fuzzy thistle from bottom with a spoon.2. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat; coat pan with cooking spray. Combine 1 tablespoon oil, artichokes, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl. Add artichokes to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until grill marks appear. Cut each artichoke half in half lengthwise.
3. Combine raisins and ½ cup hot water; let stand 10 minutes. Drain.
4. Combine remaining pepper, salt, oil, 2 tablespoons juice, and next 3 ingredients (through sugar) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add kale; toss to coat. Place 1 cup kale mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 4 artichoke pieces, 1 tablespoon raisins, and 1 tablespoon nuts.
SERVES 4CALORIES 315; FAT 16.9g (sat 2g, mono 9g, poly 4.4g); PROTEIN 10.2g; CARB 37.1g; FIBER 11.6g; CHOL 0mg; IRON 4.6mg; SODIUM 360mg; CALC 217mg