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Kale 2.0

Vanessa Beahn

Any follower of the Food & Wine editors’ Instagram feeds knows that we’re still obsessed with the almighty kale salad, in all its iterations. A recently discovered new favorite at the excellent oyster bar Mar’s, which just opened in Astoria, New York: ribbons of dinosaur kale (a.k.a. lacinato kale, or cavolo nero) topped with marcona almonds, ricotta salata and pickled egg.

We’re thrilled that chefs around the country are still proudly riding the kale train, but many of them are also starting to branch out into other leafy greens. A few of our top picks on menus now:

Collard greens: We love the bright, funky, tart lime dressing on the shaved collard green salad at Nightingale 9 in Brooklyn. Fried shallots and coconut make it irresistibly crunchy.

Swiss chard: At Found in Chicago, chef Nicole Pederson tosses pickled Swiss chard stems with kale, pecans and a whole panoply of seeds: pumpkin, caraway, yellow mustard, sesame, poppy and chia. Pear vinaigrette finishes the dish.

Dandelion greens: Chef Jeff Mahin believes that diners’ palates are leaning toward more spicy, peppery greens. At Stella Barra Pizzeria in West Hollywood, he punches up his slow-poached chicken and romaine salad with bitter dandelion greens, oyster mushrooms and grilled lemon. Just to hedge his bets, though, he still serves a purple kale and spinach salad, with Pecorino cheese and Medjool dates (yum).

Mustard greens: Kevin Sbraga recently road-tripped all over the South—New Orleans, Nashville, Birmingham, Atlanta, Savannah and Charleston—to research for his new spot, The Fat Ham, slated to open in Philadelphia in December. Among the dishes he’ll offer is a mustard green salad with benne seeds (similar to sesame seeds), peanuts, scallions and hot vinegar dressing.

Beet greens: Salads at Two in Chicago depend on what local farmers deliver each day. This fall, chef Tom Van Lente often composes a beet green salad topped with roasted root vegetables, fritters made with house-made ricotta and creamy tarragon dressing.

Kale’s still our first love, but we’re willing to expand our horizons.

Related: Delicious Kale Recipes
Fantastic Recipes for Greens
Terrific Salads

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