Sunday, January 8, 2012

Superfoods Month: Simple kale salad

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Today's Superfood: Kale
Vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium, iron, potassium

It took me a while to get used to raw kale. I like greens just fine, but I've always preferred them cooked. I thought raw kale would be bitter and tough.

Then I tasted Sippity Sup's kale "Caesar" salad at a Food Bloggers Los Angeles potluck. Tuscan "dinosaur" kale finely shredded, bright and lemony, dressed with salty anchovies and showered with grated cheese - this kale salad won me over.

Now that I'm trying to eat more greens (thanks to sage advice from my health coach, Rachael Pontillo of Holistically Haute Wellness), I'm turning to kale salad at least a few times a week. I'm too lazy to open a tin of anchovies, so I keep it really simple: kale, lemon, olive oil, grated cheese, salt and pepper. I actually prefer this salad made a few hours ahead - the acid and salt wilt the kale and smooth the bitter edges slightly.

Click here for a list of all the Superfoods Month recipes in this series

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Simple kale salad for Superfoods Month
A bright lemony salad using raw kale. Use whichever variety you prefer - Tuscan kale will wilt a little more than curly kale.
  • 1 bunch Tuscan or curly kale
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, Romano or Grana Padano cheese, grated
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
Wash the kale well by submerging it in cold water, swishing it around, then lifting it out of the water so the dirt remains in the bottom of the bowl. Dry in a salad spinner or a clean towel. Strip the leaves away from the center stem and cut the leaves crosswise into thin strips. You want to get the strips as thin as possible.Put the kale into a large bowl and add the lemon juice, olive oil, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Toss well. Serve immediately if you like your kale very stiff, or let the salad sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or in the refrigerator for at least an hour if you prefer it a bit wilted.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 servings


Joan Friedman said...

Funny you just now posted this! I am sitting with a giant bunch of regular curly kale in my frig and debating what to do. Although I like dinosaur kale ok, kale in general is not my favorite. I have been seeing raw kale salad recipes show up a lot lately, and thought I'd give it a try. Have you seen the technique of "massaging" the olive oil into the kale leaves and letting it sit a bit? Softens them up and makes them less bitter. Seems like the new trendy way to do kale salad! If I try it -- it sounds like a lot of trouble -- I will report back!

Unknown said...

Looks divine. Kale is one of my favorites in any shape or form. I like the idea of making this salad a little ahead to let all the flavors and textures come together. I think I'll try it that way and add a bit of fresh garlic to the mix. Thanks so much for this fun, new way to love kale!

Gathering Flavors (

Valentina said...

I love kale!!! And it sounds lovely this way!

Andrew @ Eating Rules said...

Yum! I've heard that the trick to raw kale salads is to have a bit of acid in the dressing, and then to let it sit for awhile (in the fridge, I presume). I guess the acid softens the kale so it's not so tough. Looking forward to giving this a try!

Sippity Sup said...

Ahhh... You like my salad! XOGREG

Urbanaught said...

Hi Erika. They sell a great anchovy paste at most specialty food stores that you can sub in for anchovies in a pinch. It's got the same great flavor and fishy tang, but it comes in a tube and lives in your fridge for whenever you need it. Same as the tomato paste in the tube. Enjoy!

Erika Kerekes said...

@Urbanaught, you're so right - I have a huge jar of Roland anchovy paste in my refrigerator - forgot all about it! Thanks for the reminder!

Rachael said...

There’s another superfood you should know about called the Aroniaberry (chokeberry). It is native to North America and contains one of the highest levels of antioxidants – anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins of any fruit. These powerful berries have been utilized for years because of their overall health and wellness benefits. Learn more at

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