There are days, most days really, when I struggle to think of an interesting veggie for the side of my plate. I confess that I’m not a fan of lettuce – it comes one of two ways, delicate and bitter, or crunchy and flavorless. Not to mention that there is no such thing as keeping leftovers until the next day. However, we all know that most meals are made better, and healthier, with a leafy green something. Enter kale. I know, I know… kale has become ubiquitous and unhip. But bare with me, it is also hearty, cheap, healthy and available pretty much all year round.
Like a lot of things that would become momentarily hip later in life, I was introduced to kale in this form by my mother. This salad is a variation of a recipe mom found in a health food book from the nineties. Possibly even earlier. It is full of bright flavors and the dressing keeps the greens crunchy. The cheese and pepper flake provide balance.
This salad is super quick. So quick in fact, that I can have dinner nearly on the table and realize that I need something green, and in less than 10 minutes I have a glossy bowl of crunchy, bright greens, speckled with salty cheese and spicy with raw garlic and red pepper flake. It is all here, and quite possibly, all in your pantry as we speak.
Kale Salad is also very versatile; have tomatoes that you need to use? Toss them in there. Need something to serve under a protein like fish or chicken? Use this. Make too much? Throw it in the fridge! Even dressed this salad will be just as good on day two. Just about everything in this recipe is adjustable. Don’t have lemons? Use a half the volume of cider vinegar or red wine vinegar. Don’t like raw garlic? Saute it first in the olive oil and allow to cool before you add the acid, et cetera.
Kale SaladCourse: SaladsDifficulty: Easy
Yields 4-6 Servings depending if this is a side or central element to your meal.
4 C Kale; Rinsed, Ribs Removed, Shredded (200g / 9.5oz)
1 Lg Lemon
1/4 C Olive Oil (60ml)
1 Lg Garlic Clove; Grated or Minced
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flake (1g / .04oz)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1/4 C Parmigiano; Coarsely Grated (28g / 1oz)
- Place Kale in a Medium Serving Bowl.
- Juice a whole Lemon into a liquid measuring cup through a small sieve to catch the seeds. You should have about 1/4 cup (60ml). Discard the seeds.
- Add an equal amount of olive oil, about 1/4 cup (60ml).
- Using a Micro plane, grate the garlic into the Lemon Juice – Olive Oil Mixture. If you don’t have a micro-plane, you can mince the Garlic instead.
- Add the Red Pepper Flake and season with Salt and Pepper. Whisk with a fork to combine.
- Pour the Dressing over the Kale, tossing to combine. You might not need all the dressing, it will keep in the fridge, covered, for several days.
- Add the Cheese and toss again.
Measuring Cups and Spoons or Food Scale
Medium Serving Bowl
Liquid Measuring Cup
Large Spoons for Tossing and Serving