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Food 52’s Healthiest: Kale and Anchovy Salad

Kale and Anchovy Salad
Photo: James Ransom for

Every Tuesday, we scan Food52′s delectable menu of recipes for the healthiest picks they’ve got—bringing you seasonal, scrumptious fare that’s really good for you.

Food52Don’t let the anchovies scare you! The flavorful fish are actually happy-making—they’re filled with DHA, the omega-3 that combats inflammation and protects brain cells. And when paired with kale, one of the most nutrient-dense foods out there, this dish is a home run for your health.

Kale and Anchovy Salad
Serves 4

1 small garlic clove, smashed
2 anchovies
Kosher salt
1/2 Meyer (or regular) lemon
4 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
6 cups packed dinosaur (lacinato) kale, ribs removed, and torn into smallish pieces before measuring

1. In a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic and anchovy with a pinch of salt to a paste. Blend in the juice from half a Meyer lemon. Then beat in the olive oil. It should semi-emulsify; don’t worry if it doesn’t.

2. In a small bowl, combine the onion and thyme leaves with a large pinch of salt, then rub the salt into the onions using your hands. Let sit for 10 minutes.

3. Put the kale in a large bowl. Add the onion and thyme. Pour in half the dressing and using your hands, mix the greens — really get in there and work the salad; you should almost knead the greens so they break down a bit and the dressing fully coats the leaves. Taste and add more salt, lemon juice, or dressing, as needed. Let the salad sit for 15-20 minutes. Taste and adjust once more. Then spread on a platter and serve.

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