Margherita Kale Salad with Pepperoni and Tomato Vinaigrette

Active Time: 10 minutes • Total Time: 10 minutes

Yields: 4 Servings

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  • 3 medium beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, preferably on the vine
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 large red onion, trimmed and cut into quarters lengthwise
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 1 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 8 ounces sliced pepperoni
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • large tomato focaccia, cut into 4 squares
  • 1 package Earthbound Farm Organic Sweet Kale Mix
  • 8 ounces bocconcini (small fresh mozzarella balls)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh basil sprigs

This salad from Judy Kim at The Judy Lab is a riff off the perfectly satisfying marriage of classic pizza elements with crunchy, colorful veggies. However, by using tomato focaccia as a base instead of cheese pizza, and covering it with plenty of crispy pepperoni, this salad offers an unexpected explosion of flavors and textures in the best possible way.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.

Wash the tomatoes; trim and core only the beefsteak tomatoes. Place cherry tomatoes with the vine on the sheet pan. Using a paring knife, score an X on the bottom of the beefsteak tomato; add tomatoes core side down. Using the side of a chefs knife lightly smash the garlic cloves; keeping skin intact place on sheet pan and 1 quarter of red onion. Drizzle with olive oil and season with kosher salt and black pepper. Roast for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, fill a large metal bowl halfway with cold water and 5-6 ice cubes. Wash and trim radishes keeping tails. Using a mandoline thinly slice radishes lengthwise and place in ice bath. This will create a crisp, firm and slightly curly radish.

Slice remaining red onion using the mandoline, about 3/8-inch thick or desired thickness. Transfer to a bowl and add seasoned rice vinegar. You may may need more vinegar depending on size of bowl to ensure all onions are submerged and will guarantee even pickling.

Arrange pepperoni in a even layer without overlapping on a rimmed sheet pan without parchment paper. Change oven to broil setting. Roast in oven for a few minutes until pepperoni curls up into little cup shapes, tops are crispy and slightly charred. Note: Since these are broiled I suggest to omit parchment paper as it runs a risk of catching fire. If you prefer parchment paper for easy clean up trim the paper so there is not any excess above the rim.

Transfer cherry tomatoes on the vine to a plate until ready to assemble salad. Place remaining roasted beefsteak tomato, onion wedge and garlic without the peel into a blender. Season with red pepper chili flakes, 1 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper. Add champagne vinegar and pulse until well incorporated. With the motor running drizzle 1/2 cup olive oil slowly. Blend just until dressing is emulsified but do not over blend or it will be foamy.

On a large platter place tomato focaccia squares. In a large mixing bowl add Earthbound Farm Organic Sweet Kale mix, radishes and pickled onions. Drizzle 1/4 cup of dressing and toss together by hand. Place a handful of salad on each piece of foccacia. Tear the bocconcini by hand and scatter all over. Place blistered cherry tomatoes and pepperoni. Sprinkle parmesan cheese, red pepper chili flakes, parsley and add sprigs of fresh basil; drizzle with olive oil and serve additional dressing on the side.

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