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The Sunday Dinner Table: Sam Sifton’s Kale Salad with Cranberries

At The Sunday Paper, we want to inspire you to gather at your tables—virtually or in-person—and open your hearts minds with the help of our Meaningful Conversation Starter and featured recipe.

Meet our Chef: Sam Sifton

Learn about his mission: A longtime journalist and New York Times Food Editor, Sam is on a mission to make cooking easy, approachable, and fun. His theory is that you don’t need to follow an exact recipe to make a delicious meal. His new book, The New York Times Cooking No-Recipe Recipes, offers 100 flexible dishes to make every night.

Get his recipe: Kale Salad with Cranberries, Pecans, and Blue Cheese.

Get our Conversation Starter: As the world begins to open up, where would you most love to travel?

Kale Salad with Cranberries, Pecans, and Blue Cheese

From Sam: Kale salads have fallen into disfavor among the cognoscenti because for a while they were on every restaurant menu in town. There was a reason for that though, and this salad shows it plain.

Olive oil
Dried cranberries
Toasted pecans
Blue cheese

Make a mustardy vinaigrette that’ll stand up to the greens: mustard, olive oil, a splash of lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Drizzle it over stemmed and chopped kale with a host of big-flavored mix-ins that wink at whatever season you’re in without being dorky about it, which in this case, are dried cranberries plus pecans. And some crumbled blue cheese and a spray of croutons. Sweet, salty, spicy, sour. That and a chilled glass of red wine. Why don’t we eat salads for dinner more often?

Modifications: Substitute currants for the cranberries. Toss raw pecans with a glug of maple syrup and a dusting of cayenne and then toast for a sweet-spicy lift.

Reprinted from The New York Times Cooking No-Recipe Recipe. Text copyright © 2021 by Sam Sifton and The New York Times Company. Photographs copyright © 2021 by David Malosh and Food Styling by Simon Andrews. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House”

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