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Ricotta Salata, Guanciale, and Lacinato Kale Salad

Ricotta Salata, Guanciale, and Lacinato Kale Salad

Lewis makes his own ricotta salata in-house and serves this wintry dish as a vegetable course. It also pairs well with grilled meat or poultry.
Servings 6


  • ¼ pound guanciale cured pork jowl or pancetta, diced
  • Juice and zest of one lemon use a microplane
  • tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
  • cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated ricotta salata for dressing plus ¼ pound to grate when serving
  • 1 clove garlic grated on a microplane
  • 1 cippolini onion finely diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound Lacinato kale also known as “dinosaur” kale, washed, stemmed (tear or cut lengthwise along leaf), drained, and coarsely chopped (red chard can be substituted)


  • In a saute pan slowly render the fat from the guanciale. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon, and reserve for another use. Remove the pan from the heat, and drain the liquid fat into a small bowl.
  • In a separate medium-size bowl, combine the lemon juice and vinegar. Add the extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons grated ricotta salata, garlic, onion, and lemon zest. In a slow, steady stream, whisk in the guanciale fat until the dressing emulsifies. Season to taste with salt and pepper (remember that the ricotta salata in the final dish will add quite a bit of salt).
  • Place the kale in a large bowl. Warm the dressing on the stove, then pour over the greens (if it seems like too much dressing, reserve some). Allow the kale to marinate until the leaves wilt—5 to 8 minutes.
  • Serve family-style, grating the remaining ricotta salata over the greens. Serve immediately.