This summer I visited Northern Spy Food Co. in New York for an article about the best brunch places in NYC. The restaurant (named after New York apple variety Northern Spy) opened two years ago in the trendy East Village. According to owner Chris, Northern Spy is a place where people want to keep coming back and I can only agree.
The atmosphere is relaxed and cool and the farm-to-table menu highly original (I wanted to try everything!). The restaurant also has a stand at the High Line park (a must-visit when they open again in Spring), one of my favorite places in NYC.
Probably the most popular items on the menu is Northern Spy’s famous Kale Salad. They usually serve a version with squash, but last summer the salad contained sweet roasted carrots. Kale Salad sounded somewhat strange to me, and so did the combination with cheddar and almonds. But after reading many raving reviews, I knew I needed to try this dish. And I’m glad to report I absolutely loved it.
Although unusual, there’s something genius about the combination of slightly bitter kale, sweet roasted squash or carrots, crunchy almonds and sharp cheese. It’s delicious in all its unusual simplicity. Great thing is that it’s also very good for you and can be made in no time.
Northern Spy advises to use a good aged cheddar (they use Cabot clothbound) or substitute Parmesan instead, so I followed their advice when I recreated this salad back at home. I couldn’t find good cheddar and really thought the Parmesan cheese was a proper alternative to the salad I had in New York.
You can serve the salad the way it is, or add a fried egg on top to turn it into a meal. Sounds odd, works unexpectedly well!
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