Baby Kale with Preserved Lemon and Halloumi

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Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Servings: 6

Chris Regan, the farmer at Sky Farm, in Millerton, New York, grows a beautiful mixture of baby kale for Serge Madikians, chef/owner of Serevan restaurant, located just a few miles away. The chef uses it in many forms, but one of his favorites is this simple salad that combines kale with halloumi cheese, preserved lemons and aragh vinaigrette. Aragh, a distilled alcoholic beverage in Iran that is traditionally produced from raisins, reflects the chef’s background—he’s an Armenian from Iran. Since aragh is difficult to find, Madikians suggests you substitute pastis or ouzo.


  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 3 Tbs. aragh, pastis or ouzo
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) olive oil
  • 1 lb. (500 g) baby kale leaves (or dinosaur kale, stemmed and leaves shredded)
  • 1 package (8 oz./250 g) halloumi cheese, shredded into small pieces
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, finely slivered, or more, to taste


In a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, aragh, a dash of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. The vinaigrette can be made in advance and stored in a jar in the refrigerator; shake well before tossing it with the salad.

In a salad bowl, toss together the kale, cheese and preserved lemon. Drizzle a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette over the salad and toss. Taste and add more vinaigrette if needed, although err on the side of less in this salad. Serves 6.

Adapted from a recipe by Serge Madikians, Chef/Owner, Serevan, Amenia, NY

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