A recipe from Jake Cohen’s first cookbook Jew-ish: Reinvented Recipes from a Modern Mensch
This salad is dedicated to Lynn Schusterman! Lynn is not just my hero,
but also an iconic philanthropist and cofounder of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, which supports some incredible organ- izations I’ve been involved with like OneTable, Jewish Food Society, and
REALITY Israel. To put it simply, I don’t know a better person. I had the privilege of going on REALITY Israel, a Schusterman initiative that gathers leaders in dif- ferent industries and sends them on a weeklong trip to Israel. I was one of fifty individuals—spanning chefs, food writers, spirits-makers, farmers, and everything in between—on the food-focused “Taste” trip. There, I became close with the very talented James Beard award–winning chef Zach Engel of Galit, in Chicago, who probably doesn’t know how much I was fangirling when I met him. While we rubbed mud on each other at the Dead Sea and spoon-fed one another labneh ice cream overlooking Tel Aviv, this salad is truly what bonds us the most.
Zach made this dish for me when he was visiting New York, and I was shook. I thought I knew kale salad, but as is the case with most things, I knew nothing. Tossed in a garlic-and-lemon dressing, shreds of kale were layered with chewy bulgur, crisp Honeycrisp apples, chunks of nutritional yeast–crusted delicata squash, and baharat-spiced pepitas for probably the best salad I’ve ever had. It had every flavor. It had every texture. It was balanced and delicate and hearty and I think about it often . . . more often than anyone should be thinking about salad. So much so that I started making my own simpler adaptation, bumping up the bulgur for some heft, swapping in a simply roasted butternut squash for the delicata, and throwing in a little parsley for a classic touch to this very inauthentic take on tabbouleh. I’m no Zach, or Lynn, but a boy can dream!
1 1⁄2 cups cracked bulgur wheat
3 cups warm water
2 1⁄2 pounds butternut squash (1 large), peeled seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1⁄2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, fully grated
2 pounds lacinato kale, leaves stemmed and thinly sliced
1 cup fresh parsley leaves and tender stems, coarsely chopped
1⁄2 cup hulled pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
2 Honeycrisp apples, cored and coarsely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Put the bulgur in a large bowl and add the warm water. Let stand for 1 hour, then drain off any excess water.
3. Meanwhile, on a sheet pan, toss the butternut squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and a heavy pinch each of salt and pepper. Roast, tossing once halfway through, for 16 to 18 minutes, until tender. Switch the oven to broil and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until the squash is nicely charred.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil, the lemon juice, and the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Add the kale and parsley to the bowl and toss with the dressing, massaging the greens gently with your hands (but don’t get crazy — it’s just salad).
5. Add the bulgur, roasted squash, pepitas, and apples to the bowl with the greens and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, then serve.