To the uninitiated, a salad made with kale might sound about as appetizing as a cod liver oil and vinegar dressing; healthy but unpleasant.
However, kale salad is unusually delicious and tastes even better the following day and into the next – it’s become my favorite salad and it transitions really well from winter into summer.
I ate some the other night in a restaurant and decided that I could improve upon it. You can play around with different ingredients and make your own version; here’s mine…followed by a recipe for KALE CRISPS; a great way to get kids (including significant others) to eat their greens and they’re a wonderful healthy snack that won’t stick around for long one you’ve offered them up.
Notes at the end.
1 bunch of kale; stalk and any tough ribs cut out and discarded
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/3 cup of lightly toasted pine nuts (toast in a dry skillet and watch like a hawk or they’ll burn in a nanosecond)
¼ cup of finely diced red onion
1/3 cup of golden raisins, chopped
¾ cup of finely chopped unpeeled apple
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
½ tablespoon of clear honey
1/3 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
After trimming the tough parts away, wash and thoroughly dry the kale; stack it and roll up tightly then slice across very thinly to create fine shreds (aka ‘chiffonade’) – put the shredded kale in a large bowl with the sea salt.
With your fingers, massage the kale and salt together for a full 2 minutes.
Transfer kale to a serving bowl leaving any liquid behind.
Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and honey and add this to the kale along with everything else except the cheese… give it a good toss around.
Let it sit at room temp for 20 mins then adjust the lemon juice, olive oil and honey to taste; finally add the cheese.
Give it all a good final toss – chill for 1 hour to 2 days (covered) and serve.
Experiment with different ingredients such as dried currants or cranberries instead of golden raisins; ripe pear instead of apple; diced Gorgonzola instead of Parmigiano-Reggiano and chopped caramelized walnuts instead of toasted pine nuts – crumbled feta cheese and chopped black olives makes more of a Greek kale salad.
Now for the more-ish snack…..
You wouldn’t think its possible to want to scarf down a whole bunch of kale in a few minutes but when you bake kale in the oven with olive oil and sea salt, you get a light-as-air, green, crispy treat that’s an addictive and healthy alternative to potato or corn chips:
1 bunch of kale, tough stem and ribs removed and leaves torn into bite sized pieces
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of sea salt
Pre-heat oven to 350F / 180C
Line a cookie sheet or shallow roasting pan with baking parchment
Wash and thoroughly dry the torn kale leaves
Toss with the olive oil and make sure every piece is coated with oil, then add the sea salt and toss again.
Spread on the baking sheet and bake for 10 mins or until the edges have turned a light brown. Remove from the oven and serve.
As they’re feathery-light, any slight breeze will send them flying all over the place so serve them away from drafts…half of mine blew away when I took the picture!
Thanks J !
I always cook my kale and often add it to my soups. This sounds like a delicious and very nutritious salad alternative. Thanks for the inspiration …. I’ll pick some up this weekend!
I hope you liked the kale salad and BTW, the kale crisps are better with less salt that I mentioned in the recipe – sorry! Unless you’re a salt fiend, I think a 1/4 teaspoon is enough! They’re pretty addictive and I can inhale a whole bunch of kale crisps single-handedly in 10 mins!
Wow! Just made it and was initially thinking too salty, didn’t like my dressing, etc. Then I finally got all the ingredients together and gave it all a good British toss, only after carefully massaging my chiffonade of kale with sea salt, I was laughing pretty good! It is chilling, tastes amazing already, you are the best!
Love kale but never seem to get it quite right. Looking forward to trying your recipes. Love your photos!!
Making it now, tell you how it goes…
Prepared it just as you described, but used the ole food processor vs “chiffonade” (is that legal in the US?).
Set it in the fridge for 24hrs, had some at the 24hr mark and it was quite tasty. Let it set for another 24hrs and it was even better, spicier I’d say (red onions I’m sure).
I think using a food processor is legal over here.
No need to let it sit for more than 1 hour to enjoy the kale salad and feel free to substitute sweet vidalia onion for red and adjust the quantites and ingredients to suit – there are no rules other than to create something you enjoy. Enjoy!