Lemony Kale Salad

Best kale saladKale is one of those vegetables that is both loathed and loved. That must be hard on ole’ Kale. Everywhere you show up people are either excited to see you or act like your a punishment to be around. I actually fell into the category of strong dislike (hate’s just too strong a word) the first time I tried kale. It was so tough and, leafy. I’d prefer romaine. Hardly anyone has a strong preference about romaine. It’s easy.

Kale is undeniably good for you though. Just look how green it is! And as I’ve tried numerous kale salads over the years now I’ve found a few things that make it good for me. First, pair it with something creamy or lemony (or both!). I am a sucker for anything citrus soaked. Second, really chop up those leaves and be sure to remove the steams. Here’s my favorite super easy and super delicious (not to mention good for you!) kale salad.

Lemony Kale Salad, serves four as a side or two as a meal.

1 bundle of Kale, about four heaping cups once chopped
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup mayo (I used homemade but store-bought is good too)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (juice from one lemon, might be slightly less than 1/4 cup)
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
salt + pepper to taste

First we prep the kale.

Tuscan kaleThoroughly rinse and pat dry the kale. Then remove the leaves from the middle vein. Some larger leaves may have additional tough veins throughout, remove these as well. Chop the kale leaves into small, bite-sized pieces. Use your hands to press the leaves together as you move them all into a large bowl. This is a quick and easy version of “massaging” the kale. Many kale salad recipes encourage you to do this as it will help to soften kale’s tough leaves.

Creamy poppy seed dressingStir together to last six ingredients listed above. Add just a little salt and pepper at first. Taste, and add more to your liking. I usually end up adding quite a bit of salt and pepper plus a sprinkle just a bit more on at the end, right before serving.

My favorite kale saladIn a large bowl toss together the kale, almonds, cheese and dressing so that everything gets coated evenly. You can store this salad in a container (in the refrigerator) for a few hours, but it’s best served the day it’s made. If you want to make this way ahead, I would recommend making the dressing. But don’t toss everything together until you’re ready to eat. Happy salad days! xo. Emma

Lemony Kale Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 bundle of Kale about four heaping cups once chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup mayo I used homemade but store-bought is good too
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice juice from one lemon, might be slightly less than 1/4 cup
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • salt + pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. First we prep the kale. Thoroughly rinse and pat dry the kale. Then remove the leaves from the middle vein. Some larger leaves may have additional tough veins throughout, remove these as well. Chop the kale leaves into small, bite-sized pieces. Use your hands to press the leaves together as you move them all into a large bowl. This is a quick and easy version of "massaging" the kale. Many kale salad recipes encourage you to do this as it will help to soften kale's tough leaves.
  2. Stir together to last six ingredients listed above. Add just a little salt and pepper at first. Taste, and add more to your liking. I usually end up adding quite a bit of salt and pepper plus a sprinkle just a bit more on at the end, right before serving.
  3. In a large bowl toss together the kale, almonds, cheese and dressing so that everything gets coated evenly. You can store this salad in a container (in the refrigerator) for a few hours, but it's best served the day it's made.

Recipe Notes

If you want to make this way ahead, I would recommend making the dressing. But don't toss everything together until you're ready to eat.

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman

  • I love how you use Kale in this – we use it with Citrus fruits, Gorgonzola and Walnuts:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ey5usZmw5Y

  • I made this last night – and even decided to try homemade mayo at the same time – it is SO GOOD! I recently switched to a (mostly) Paleo diet in attempts to be healthier and struggling a little with how to spice up my veggies a little. Usually I’m not the biggest kale fan but the dressing makes this so tasty.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Emma!

  • I feel the same
    About kale, but kale chips are amazing!

    www.dancingthroughsunday.typepad.com

    x

  • I’m going to give this a go it sounds delicious! I’m terrible at eating greens and have only recently tried Kale and like it as long as there are no stalks in sight.

    Rosie x

  • Kale and I are old and dear friends, so this looks absolutely amazing to me! I will most certainly be making this!

  • This is a yummy recipe! I added more lemon in the dressing and a little on top…maybe it was the brand of mayo I used, but I needed more citrus to cut through the sweetness of the mayo and sugar. I may use less sugar next time, but overall this was a great salad! Thanks for sharing the recipe. 🙂

  • I sadly can’t seem to find kale in any supermarkets here in Germany, but when I do I’ll be trying this! (As well as the ever-so popular kale & soy sauce chips!) http://ailishgoes.blogspot.de

  • Here in Germany, most of all in East Frisia, you cook it a long time together with grains of pearl barley and eat it with sausages and potatoes. You need 1-2 hours to cook it and then it isn´t bitter at all. 🙂
    It´s unusually to make salad out of it, but this recept looks phantastic!

  • This sounds and looks so fresh! xx

    http://www.sweetcandydreamer.com

  • This looks delicious! I’m not a huge fan of kale because it’s extremely bitter to me, but I bet this dressing would be delicious with arugula or romaine!

    xoxo
    Taylor

    www.welcomehometaylor.com

  • I’ve never tried kale before, look forward to using this recipe, looks brilliant! Thanks!

    http://www.electricsoiree.com

  • This is such a great healthy recipe! Love this so much!

    http://freshhealthynatural.blogspot.com

  • This looks great! Would you consider linking it up to Friday Favorites at http://imnotatrophywife.com Laura

  • I recently made similar a Caesar-ish kale salad with lots of horseradish and lemon, I have to say it was a great combination =)

  • I make one similar to this, but may I suggest adding chickpeas and raisins as well. The chickpeas add a source of protein and the raisins a bit of sweetness to counter the lemon. It’s delicious. Love Kale salads!

  • That sounds so refreshing!

    http://talisatalksbeauty.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/covergirl-hot-passion-lipstick.html

  • Kale is so easy to grow (all summer and thru the winter if it’s protected under some plastic) but something I’ve struggled to love (go figure). Can’t wait to try this recipe out. Thanks!

  • I cannot wait to try this preparation of a kale salad! That dressing sounds so perfect for kale. THANK YOU!

  • This sounds so good! I’ll have to make it!

    Kristin
    crumbsandcurls.blogspot.com

  • I wasn’t a fan of kale the first time I tried it either. I stuck to throwing it in my smoothies for a while, but I think I’ve come to acquire the taste for greener foods. This kale salad looks like a must try!

    http://brittanyxoleigh.blogspot.com/

  • If you massage with some salt and lemon juice BEFORE dressing (do NOT salt your dressing at all) it gets a lot more tender and edible, IMO. I make a hot dressing for it that I put on after I’ve rubbed it really good with plenty of salt and lemon. Warm some olive oil in a saute pan, throw in some garlic cloves, then add a handful of raisins and pine nuts, then juice a lemon into it and drizzle over kale. Yum!

  • Kale isn’t that popular in France, I discovered it on american blogs this past year. Can you believe that a, american young women launched a project to make it more popular here ? There’s even a map for peope to spot kale in the streets of Paris 🙂
    >>> http://thekaleproject.com/mission/

  • I’ve recently discovered kale and I love it! Although I have only had it steamed and put into a salad, so it makes it a little less tough. I’m going to try this one – it looks delicious!

  • I’ve ever really got to grips with Kales.(how to cook)..so this recipe is really helpful to me. x

    http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk

  • This look so refreshing! Such a great spring recipe! Those almonds are such a great ingredient! 🙂

    http://sometimesgracefully.com

  • This looks delicious! I am a big fan of kale, especially paired with lemon. Unfortunately it can be almost impossible to find fresh, besides from in December, in this part of the world (north Europe). A good tip, from my grandmother, is to give it a spin in the food processor, and that way chop it into even smaller pieces. it makes much easier to chew and makes it look kind of like parsley.

  • Think this means I have to get a kale salad for lunch today – thanks for the inspiration!

  • We are big fans of kale in our household. I will definitely be trying this soon! Thanks for the recipe. Looks delicious!

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