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The salad I've been obsessing over

I haven't always liked salads. Two things helped me: fun ingredients and chopping them up. I continue to be shocked when I order a salad at a restaurant, and the ingredients are lacking, disproportionate, or too big to eat in one bite.

When I started working from home during COVID, I got really into a chopped taco salad. While a "chopped salad" is typically thought of as a salad with certain ingredients, you can really make any salad chopped. For months I took that salad to work and enjoyed my perfectly proportioned bites. As it often goes, though, I got sick of it. I should really make that taco salad again soon...

This summer, I went to the NYC restaurant Barbuto for the first time and had their kale salad. It was crazy how much I enjoyed that dish. I craved it so much that days later, I tried to recreate it. My first rendition of the salad was very simple and adapted to what I had at home. I finely chopped kale, roughly chopped Parmigiano Reggiano and aged gouda, sprinkled breadcrumbs, and drizzled it with olive oil, salt, and cracked black pepper. I initially would make this as a side salad and never have leftovers.

As I've been more conscious about eating enough protein, I decided to upgrade this salad