Recently, I was in Los Angeles and was able to stop into Gjsuta which is owned by one of my favorite chefs, Travis Lett. Walking into Gjusta is similar to a kid walking into a candy store- everything is eatable and irresistible. They serve up everything from breakfast foods, freshly baked pastries and breads, smoked fish, sandwiches, and so much more in a beautiful open kitchen space. There are a lot of places that are attempting to do something similar, but Gjusta executes so well.
I picked up Travis Lett’s cookbook for his other venice restaurant, Gjelina a few months ago. As I flipped though, I kept thinking over and over “This is the food I want to eat”. Pages of vegetable centric dishes served up in the most bright and flavorful ways. Every dish I’ve made from the book has been a showstopper.
This grilled kale dish was no exception. Perfect for a warm summer night, serve this salad up as a side or add grilled chicken to make it a main. The process is a little time consuming as you have to make the shallot confit ahead of time.
Grilled Kale with Shallot- Yogurt Dressing + Toasted Hazelnuts
1/2 cup hazelnuts
3 bunches Russian kale
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 Tbsp water
1 cup Greek-style yogurt
1/4 cup shallot confit (recipe below), roughly chopped
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves, chopped
2 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 lb shallots, peeled and halved
1.5 cups extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaves, crushed
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill (or preheat a gas grill to medium-high).
In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, shallot confit, olive oil, mint, and lemon juice. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Let stand while you make the salad.
In a small, dry frying pan, toast the hazelnuts until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Let cool and coarsely chop.
In a large bowl, toss the kale with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle in the water and mix well.
Put the kale on the hottest part of the grill. Once the leaves begin to char, about 30 seconds, flip them over to char the other side. Move the kale to a cooler spot on the grill, stacking the leaves on top of each other, and continue cooking until the leaves are slightly wilted, about 2 minutes.
Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle with the dressing, and scatter the toasted hazelnuts on top. Season with sea salt and pepper and serve warm.
Preheat the oven to 350°F
Place the shallots in an ovenproof casserole dish. Cover completely with the olive oil and sprinkle with the thyme and bay leaves. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake until the shallots are fork-tender and taste sweet and mellow, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month, completely covered with olive oil to prevent air from reaching them. (Makes 4 cups.)
Recipe adaped from Gjelina