Food by VICE

Dirty Work: Portland’s OX Puts Onion Rings on Kale Salad

by Munchies Staff
Nov 7 2016, 7:00pm

Welcome back to Dirty Work, our new series of dispatches from the MUNCHIES Garden. We're inviting chefs, bartenders, and personalities in the world of food and drink to explore our edible playground and make whatever the hell inspires them with our rooftop produce.

Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton know their meat. The husband and wife chef duo serve serious carnivorous goodness at OX, their Argentine-inspired Portland restaurant—but after gathering ingredients from the MUNCHIES garden, they proved that their skills go beyond beef. With a seemingly endless supply of herbs at their disposal, the Dentons knew they had to make a killer salad. You know what they say: when in Rome.

Photos by Sydney Mondry

Back in the test kitchen, they unloaded their haul—kale, bronze fennel fronds, chives, mustard greens, nasturtium, and every other flavorful herb they came across, plus some radicchio for a bitter bite.

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Then it was time to get to work. The two started prepping, working perfectly in synch...

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Well, mostly.

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Because no salad is complete without a crunchy element, the Dentons sliced up some red onions and tossed them in seasoned buttermilk, readying them for a dip in the deep fryer.

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Croutons be damned. We'd like crispy onion rings on all of our salads from now on, please.

tRECIPE: Crispy Red Onion Rings
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With the greens, herbs and onions prepped, it was time to whip up a simple dressing to tie all the moving pieces together. A quick mixture of white miso paste, fresh lemon juice and zest, and a little garlic got the job done. Oh, and mayo. Lots of mayo.

RECIPE: Miso-Lemon Dressing
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Then, in true Portlandia fashion, Greg gave the greens a deep-tissue massage—because the kale and radicchio had a long day, and they deserved some R&R. Plus, it helped break down the tough leaves, essentially pre-chewing them.

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Finally came the assembly. As if this salad wasn't pretty enough, the Dentons piled it nice and high on a plate for maximum visual impact.

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They dressed up the salad tower with those crispy red onion rings and a healthy handful of crumbled feta cheese for a hit of briny saltiness.

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And that, friends, is how two PDX meat-masters kill the salad game.

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RECIPE: Kale and Radicchio Salad