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Kale and white anchovy salad

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

First courses are often the highlight of a meal, outshining the mains with creativity and flavour. This salad is enhanced by white anchovies, which are usually from Spain, where they are called boquerones and are an essential part of tapas. The anchovies are cured in vinegar for a soft, mellow taste. They are especially good in salads – better than the stronger-tasting salt-cured ones. (Try them in a Caesar salad and anchovy haters will be turned around.) Harder to find, white anchovies are usually available in Italian grocery stores and some supermarkets. If they're not available, use dark ones but soak them in milk for 30 minutes to remove some of the salt. Dinosaur, lacinato and black kale are all the same vegetable. The leaves of this superfood are long and knobbly but have no curly edges.

Servings: 4

Ready time: 1 hour (including cooling time)

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 teaspoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon mustard

2 tablespoons chopped shallots

1 bunch dinosaur kale, coarse midrib removed, thinly sliced (about 8 cups)

12 white anchovies

Method

Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss tomatoes with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place cut side up on a baking sheet. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes or until slightly browned and shrivelled. Reserve.

Whisk together extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, mustard and shallots in a small bowl until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Combine kale, roasted tomatoes and anchovies in a large bowl and toss with enough dressing to coat. Divide among 4 serving plates.

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