Simple Kale Salad


July 4, 2013 by Kai Chan

Happy 4th of July!  Many of you will be spending this independence holiday outdoors either at a picnic or a barbecue.  There will surely be yummy eats and food from the grill such as hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, ribs and other super tasty, yet not so healthy food for you.  However, all those heavy foods will probably require for you to loosen a couple of notches on your belt if you don’t have an elastic waistband or wear what I like to call a buffet outfit.  So instead of relying on the tired, old potato salad to bring or serve at the picnic / barbecue, why not spruce it up with a tasty, healthy salad made with the superfood of yesteryears and today: kale.


Kale has been become popular over the past couple years, but was first introduced to the mass consumer mostly as a sautéed green or even baked into kale chips.  Recently, I’ve seen more restaurants and chefs using kale as their lettuce / greens substitute for salads.  While many types of kale are coarse, with a little TLC and massaging, you can make a great tasty kale salad with awesome textures that will be the rage of the picnic / barbecue.



1 bunch Lacino kale (aka Tuscan or dinosaur kale)

1 large lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Pecorino (to taste)

Pepitas (optional)

Yields about 2-3 servings.




Wash the kale very well since you will be eating the vegetable raw.  I like to soak the kale in water to loosen any soil and grit at least a couple of times and do a final rinse under water before drying it with paper towels.




DSC_0006Fold the kale in half lengthwise to remove the hard stem then split the remaining top part of the kale leaf to halve it.  Stack the kale leaves and roll into a cigar shape and cut into thin julienne slices.  You can cut into thicker slices, but the general rule of thumb is: the thicker the slices, the more coarse the salad will be.


DSC_0012Put the julienned kale into a large bowl and add the juice from the lemon, olive oil and salt.  Using your hand, massage the kale leaves until you notice the kale leaves start to wilt (3-5 minutes).




DSC_0015Then add cracked black pepper and shaved pecorino using a peeler – I like moderate amounts of pecorino, so I usually add about 15 shavings.  Toss the salad until everything has been incorporated well, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.



You can refrigerate overnight and serve it the next day.  Toss the salad to redistribute the lemon juice and sprinkle some pepitas on top before serving the salad.  Bon appétit!



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