I know this photo is not quote on quote “food porn” quality or pinterest worthy, but I guarantee it’s tastebud worthy. It’s so tastebud worthy that I was literally licking the bowl after this salad. 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? You won’t even realize that you’re eating kale as the garlic and lemon take away the bitterness of the kale. You might surprise yourself and find that you just ate a whole head or two of kale with this salad. I have friends who have tried this salad and gone from kale haters to kale lovers. Seriously, it’s that good!
The Marin IJ recently interviewed me and the first question that the interviewer asked me was, “what’s your obsession with kale?” I laughed, (you know that kind of snicker laugh that John Travolta does in the movie Grease) 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 six 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 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. It’s the perfect bring to work salad because it gets better as it sits. Do you hear this Yvonne? Here’s a salad you can bring to work!
Lacinato kale salad:
Serves 4-6 (or 1 to 2 in my case, as I have been known to eat a whole head of kale in one sitting due to this salad)
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- 1 bunch (whole head) lacinato/dinosaur kale or curly kale or red kale, large stems removed, thinly sliced - I have actually mixed 1/2 lacinato kale with 1/2 curly kale and it’s a wonderful combination, but my everyday preference is the lacinato kale.
- juice of 1 lemon - use a hand juicer to get the most juice from your lemon . If your lemon seems extremely juicy, then I would just add 3 tablespoons. I have noticed that in the winter my lemons have been extra juicy and the dressing can be a bit tart, so I sometimes add 3 tablespoons and give it a taste and add more if needed.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced – I always use 3 cloves
- pinch of salt & pepper, to taste
- pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste - If you don’t like things spicy you can omit the red pepper. I love it though and throw in a pretty hefty pinch.
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese - you can use more or less here or omit it all together, it’s up to you. I just throw in a handful and call it a day!
Now lets move onto the dressing.
Whisk together in a small bowl or glass measuring cup the following:
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 cloves minced garlic
- pinch of salt
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- pinch (or more to taste) of red pepper flakes
Make sure to whisk the ingredients together well.
After your kale is well tossed, add 2/3 of the parmesan cheese and toss again.
Let kale rest for at least 5 minutes to an hour. This salad can be made hours ahead of time or even the day before.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.
Have a blissful weekend and please include some kale in your plans.