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Dining Tip: Fregola and Kale Salad with Dried Fruit

A delicious Italian-style side dish for the Hanukkah and Thanksgiving tables

Posted: November 25, 2013

Recipe courtesy of chef Eric Kleinman, 'inoteca, New York, NY

• 1 pound fregola sarda (a toasted, pearl-shaped semolina pasta)
• 1/4 cup dried currants
• 1/4 cup dried cranberries
• 1/4 cup dried cherries
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 cup pine nuts
• Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
• 1 teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest, plus the juice of 1 lemon or to taste
• 1 large bunch cavalo nero (Tuscan kale), center rib removed, leaves finely chopped (about 8 cups when cleaned and chopped)
• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Bring a medium pot of heavily salted water to a boil and add the fregola. Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes less than indicated on package, so that fregola is still slightly hard in the center. As the pasta cooks, combine all of the dried fruit in a bowl. Drain the fregola, reserving 2 cups of the cooking liquid. Pour half the cooking liquid over the dried fruit and cover with plastic wrap. Toss the hot fregola in a separate bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to prevent the pasta from clumping. Transfer the pasta to a sheet tray to cool.

2. In a large sauté pan, away from heat, combine 1/4 cup of the oil, the pine nuts, red pepper flakes and lemon zest. Place the pan over medium-low heat. When the ingredients start to sizzle and the nuts start to lightly brown, add the kale. Sauté for about 2 minutes, stirring to prevent browning. Add the remaining reserved pasta water. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and continue to cook until the kale is tender, then remove from the heat.

3. Toss the fregola and cooked kale together in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper as needed, and drizzle with the remaining olive oil and lemon juice to taste. Serve at room temperature. Serves 8 to 10.

Note: This recipe is kosher.

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