Lacinato Kale Salad
This lacinato kale salad has turned kale haters into kale lovers! This salad is so tastebud worthy that I was literally licking the bowl. I never thought I would be licking the bowl of a kale salad, but I was licking this one, seriously! Who am I these days? When did I start getting excited over kale of all things? I have friends who have tried this salad and gone from kale haters to kale lovers. Seriously, it’s that good! This salad is so good that I created this below video which shows you how to make this salad, as well as how to properly wash, de-stem, massage and thinly slice kale! It’s been super helpful to my readers and makes making this salad so much easier!
The Marin IJ recently interviewed me and the first question that the interviewer asked me was, “what’s your obsession with kale?” I laughed because I honestly didn’t think I was obsessed with kale. I mean I have a few kale recipes posted, but nothing to over the top. Do 20 recipes equate a kale obsession? Maybe they do, but I don’t care. I would rather be obsessed with kale than obsessed with chocolate, (well, I am a bit obsessed with that as well, but that’s another post).
So, I did the phone interview the other day, and today the photographer is coming over to take the pictures for the paper. He is going to photograph me while I make this salad and my sausage skillet pizza (see photo below). I’m a bit nervous about being photographed cooking as I am not a pretty gal when I am cooking. I get all flustered and crazy messy, as I am constantly using my apron and clothes as a towel. This time I have to look pretty and relaxed while cooking. I’m not sure I can pull that off.
So let’s get back to this salad. I made this for lunch on Monday because I had too much birthday cake over the weekend, as we celebrated Zoe turning 12. I wanted to do a mini Monday cleanse, so I made this salad for lunch and then paired it with some of my cauliflower soup for dinner. I couldn’t have been happier and my body was thanking me for this mini cleanse.
This lacinato kale salad pairs with just about anything because the dressing is so simple. It’s also a great make-ahead salad. I often make it in the morning and then have some for lunch or dinner that night, and the gobble the rest up the next day.
Lacinato kale salad
Recipe adapted from Dr. Weil
click here for my video tutorial on how to make this salad
- 2 bunches lacinato/dinosaur kale, de-stemmed and thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil – I absolutely love this olive oil from Amphora
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- big hefty pinch of coarse Celtic sea salt – I adore this Celtic sea salt, as it’s unrefined and chock-full of minerals
- roughly 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste
- 2/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
A note about purchasing lacinato kale: Don’t purchase lacinato kale that feels tough and paper-like. It will not breakdown and thus will not absorb the dressing even when you massage it. Kale is best when its soft and pliable, (feels like regular lettuce) as it absorbs the dressing and is tender when eaten.
Ok, I thought I would treat you all to some step-by-step photos for de-stemming kale as well as cutting it into thin strips.
Grab a stalk of freshly washed and dried kale, holding it by the stem with one hand while placing the pointer or middle finger and thumb of your other hand around the stem just above the leaves. Pull your fingers along the stem, tearing the leaves off.
See how easily the leaf pulls away from the stem?
Here’s how to cut your kale into thin strips. You can also use this technique for any sort of lettuce and herbs. Take the kale leaves and lay them on top of one another and then roll them up tightly. If you’re using curly kale, it’s easier to just tear it apart into small pieces after you de-stem it, as it’s a bit unruly to roll up and cut into thin slices.
Take your knife and slice the kale into thin strips until you get to the end.
Aren’t the kale slices so pretty? Toss the sliced kale into a large salad bowl.
This recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. Now, if I was to hand squeeze the juice out of a lemon, I would not get tons of juice, but when I use my hand juicer below, I get an ample amount of juice. I would highly recommend picking one of these up hand juicers. You can literally find them anywhere from your local kitchen supply store to your grocery store.
In a small bowl or glass measuring cup whisk together the following:
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- big hefty pinch of sea salt
- roughly 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- pinch (or more to taste) of red pepper flakes
Make sure to whisk the ingredients together well.
Pour the dressing over the kale and make sure to massage it well so that all the kale absorbs the dressing. When I say, “massage” your kale, I literally mean, get your hands in there and massage it.
After your kale is massaged, add the 2/3 cups of parmesan cheese and then quickly massage the salad again.
Let the kale rest for at least 5 minutes to an hour. This salad can be made hours ahead of time and stored in the fridge, but make sure to take it out a half hour ahead of serving.
Storage: Store leftover salad in the refrigerator. This salad is still pretty decent day 2.
I think my body and taste buds are both thanking me today, as this salad is uber healthy and uber delish! This is such a simple salad but sometimes it’s the simplest things that turn out the best.
If you’re a fan of kale or just want to try more recipes that include kale, then check out my other kale salad recipes. I also have a post on how to make a “mean green” juice without a juicer. Here’s a post I wrote on how to keep kale and other greens fresh. Check them out!