Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Kale Salad

Ryan always laughs about the first time I cooked for him. We had just started dating and I wanted everything to come out perfectly to impress him. Unfortunately, I decided to saute some kale, and severely burned it.  After about 8 years, and a promise to not saute it ever again, he was finally willing to give kale another try. I told him I would create a kale salad inspired by a lunch spot I frequent.

Kale Salad |

This little cafe is convenient and perfect for a quick, semi-healthy lunch. Unfortunately they drown their kale salad in dressing and I always feel like I have to swim through a pool of vinegar to get some air! So, in light of new beginnings with Ryan and kale, I thought I would take a stab at coming up with my own version using Ryan as the taste tester.

Kale Salad |
By blanching the kale, it brings out the vibrant green color.

I made the Crispy Salmon from How Sweet It Is, to go along with the kale. No carbs for me tonight after 4 days of eating pasta!

Kale Salad |

Kale Salad

Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 minute

2 bunch of kale (about 1 pound), center ribs and stems removed, leaves thinly sliced crosswise
1/2 cup dried unsweetened cranberries (or cherries)
1/2 cup shredded carrot (about one carrot)
1/2 cup manchego cheese, cut into small cubes (can also use Parmesan or Romano)
2 T white balsamic vinegar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp honey (or agave)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

First, blanch the kale. Boil a large pot of salted water. While the pot is coming to a boil fill a large bowl with ice water for the ice bath. Place the kale slices in the boiling water and let cook for 30 seconds. Quickly take out of the boiling water and place in the ice bath to stop the cooking. Then drain the kale and let dry.

In a separate bowl, combine the lemon juice, balsamic, honey, salt and pepper. While quickly whisking, add in the olive oil to emulsify the dressing. Set aside.

Place the kale in a large bowl and add cranberries, pine nuts, shredded carrot and manchego cheese. Stir until combined and drizzle over half the dressing and gently mix again. Add more dressing if desired. Serve!

The flavor was even better the next day for leftovers!


  1. Can't wait to try this one as well!!

  2. Jack Gornewicz jago570@gmail.comApril 16, 2012 at 10:22 PM

    This recipe looks like a great way for Mrs. G and I to get into the Healthy "Kale Kick", can't wait to try it.
    BTW--Great site !
    Jack Gornewicz

  3. Hey girl, I bought Kale this weekend at the Farmer's market, and I'm going to try this out!! It looks delicious!! Also, do you know any good recipes for Turnip Greens?? Just bought Turnips for the first time...any beet recipes would be great too HAHA.

    1. Kendal - I am a southern girl, so I like my turnip greens cooked low and slow and with some type of pork product! Since I opt for a healthier version, I usually start with pancetta, saute this in olive oil until crispy. Then add the greens (washed, de-stemmed and chopped), about a 1/2 cup of water or broth and dash of red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered on low for up to an hour. You can always add more liquid if needed - don't let it dry out! If the greens are too bitter, add some sugar to taste. Cooking time depends on how "soft" you like your greens.

      Also, if you want to get really adventurous, 101 Cookbooks has a great turnip green tart that I have done, delicious! Hope this helps!

    2. And for beets - my favorite thing to do is roast them! Easy - rinse the beets off and dry (if the greens are still attached, cut these off). Put in a foil packet, drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in 375F oven between 30-60 minutes depending on the size. Once the beets cool down, you can peel the skin right off and eat. They are great with goat or feta cheese. I use put them on salads a lot. Great salad with arugula, goat cheese, hazelnuts and balsamic reduction (which I will post on the blog soon).

      Good luck and let me know how everything turns out.

  4. I will have to try this one. My wife, Dina doesn't care for kale but we shall see!

    1. I bet this will change her mind. If I can get Ryan to eat it...Dina will!