lacinato kale salad

lacinato kale saladI 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! 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).

lacinato kale saladSo, 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.

DSC_0005-4So 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.

lacinato kale saladThis 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:

Recipe adapted from Dr. Weil
Serves 4
  • 1 bunch lacinato/dinosaur kale, de-stemmed and thinly sliced 
  • juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons) – 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 of juice.  I’ve noticed that in the winter my lemons have been extra juicy and the dressing can be a bit tart with too much lemon.
  • 3  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste 
  • 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!

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.  Thank you to Cathie for photographing me.
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 is 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?
Throw your kale slices into a large bowl.
This recipe calls for the juice of one lemon.  Now, if I was to hand squeeze the juice out of a lemon, I would not get ton’s 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 supple store to your grocery store.
DSC_0968Now lets move onto the dressing.

Whisk together in a small bowl or glass measuring cup the following:

  • juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves minced garlic – I always use 3 cloves
  • pinch of  fine sea salt
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • pinch (or more to taste) of red pepper flakes

Make sure to whisk the ingredients together well.

DSC_0050Pour 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 well tossed, add the 2/3 cups of  parmesan cheese and toss again.

Let the 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.
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!
5 from 1 reviews
lacinato kale salad
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, de-stemmed and thinly sliced - To see step-by-step instructions on how to de-stem and thinly sliced kale click here.
  • juice of 1 lemon (approximately 3 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced - I always use 3 large cloves
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste
  • ⅔ 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
  1. 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 it’s soft and pliable, (feels like regular lettuce) as it absorbs the dressing and is tender when eaten.
  2. Wash, de-stem and thinly slice your kale. To see step-by-step instructions on how to de-stem and thinly sliced kale click here.
  3. Throw your kale slices into a large bowl.
  4. Whisk together in a small bowl or glass measuring cup the following: juice of 1 lemon (3 tablespoons), 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2-3 cloves minced garlic, pinch of fine sea salt, pinch of freshly ground black pepper, pinch of red pepper flakes.
  5. Make sure to whisk the ingredients together well.
  6. 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.
  7. After your kale is massaged, add the ⅔ cups of parmesan cheese and toss again.
  8. Let the kale rest for at least 5 minutes to an hour. This salad can be made hours ahead of time or even the day before.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4
Three cheers for Kale!
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  1. says

    This post made me laugh—your kale obsession sounds like my Brussels sprout obsession, another veggie that doesn’t often make it to Pinterest! But food is for eating, right?
    Your skillet pizza, however, is pretty darned attractive. Congrats on the interview!

    • says

      Hi Sue! I am obsessed with brussels as well, but not as much as kale. I with you that food isn’t always for photographing, it’s for eating. Taste is what really matters when all is said and done!

  2. says

    Hah! All that Parmesan should do the trick. Massaging kale with dressing really does help. So does blanching it for a minute before cutting it and putting it in your salad bowl. I am not going to complain about kale again, however: I have just met my true nemesis: chicory.

    • says

      Hi Sharyn. Yes, the parmesan helped! I think the parmesan and the garlic were the two ingredients that had me licking the bowl. The great thing is that you do not need to blanch this kale at all before making this salad. It’s perfect raw, really!

      Chicory is something I have not eaten to much of. I may have to check it out and give it a try!

  3. nina says

    This salad is tasty…I have made a similar/same one using a NYT recipe (incl. croutons, but who needs ’em). LOVE it. Your photos of how to de-stem, layer, roll and chop help. Yumm….

  4. says

    Ok we tried the kale salad last nite and it was a hit!! Two of my girls went and got bowls and loaded up, on their own! I didnt think they would try it… but they loved it!!
    Its a keeper for the Baker family:) Thanks for another great recipe!

  5. Seth says

    I used curly kale and found that if I folded the leaf into four after de-stemming you can chop off the middle stem as it lays on the side once folded into four and then can chop each leaf quite easily. I also added a touch of yellow pepper and cherry tomatoes for color and taste and had cheddar on hand to shred instead of parmesan. Used kale fresh from the farmer’s market today. Delicious!

    • says

      Hi Seth! Thanks for the tip on de-stemming the curly kale. It’s always nice to have new and easier ways to handle those prepping tasks. I am so glad you liked the kale salad and your additions sound yummy and colorful. I am headed to the farmers market tomorrow and I can’t wait!

  6. Stacy says

    I first tried this salad at Dr. Weil’s restaurant True Food Kitchen in Phoenix and fell in love! I make this salad almost once a week using 2-3 bunches of dinosaur kale and manage to gobble it up in just a couple days. Thanks for sharing your love of kale!

    • says

      HI Stacy! Wow, how lucky you were to experience the salad first hand. I love when restaurants give out their most famous recipes so the rest of us can enjoy the experience at home. I was so surprised when I ate this salad the first time and ended up eating a whole head of kale in one sitting. It’s just so good! Thanks for sharing!

  7. says

    I must admit I was skeptical at first…raw kale, are you kidding me? But this salad is fantastic! I loaded up on the cheese and also added more garlic. I think there are endless possibilities for additions to this salad as it would make a great base for a variety of vegetables or even meat. I love the idea of adding some sweet little cherry tomatoes. But it’s also great just as it is. Right out of the bowl, you don’t even need a fork…

    I made it tonight and it’s almost all gone and we haven’t even had dinner yet! I’m definitely sharing this one with my friends. Thanks.

    • says

      Yaay! I am so happy you loved the salad Jen. Thanks so much for commenting and letting me know as I love to hear feedback on recipes. I never know if someone liked something or what additions they made so It’s always great when people comment.

      I run into so many people that are nervous to try raw kale, but once you massage the dressing into it, it tastes great and you don’t even realize that you’re eating kale.

      I actually have been adding 3-4 cloves of garlic as well as well as more red pepper flakes. I like it spicy. I did not put that in the above recipe because I think its good for people to start out slow and then get a feel for how they want to flavor things up. Just know that you ate a very healthy pre-dinner snack! So don’t feel guilty!!

  8. Jody Coker says

    Jackie, Everyone at the Hall Staff Appreciation lunch LOVED the Kale salad – and is so nice to be able to forward them info on your blog so they can get the recipe. Thanks for bringing the salad. I am making it today for my family. My kids love Kale “chips” and I am hoping they will like this, too.
    Great blog by the way. I will defiitely be back for more recipes, Jody

    • says

      Hi Jodi! Wow, I am so happy you found my site and that the teachers and staff loved the salad. I was hoping people would try it as I know people can be a bit timid of kale.

      My kids are not a fan of this particular kale, salad but they like the kale, cranberry, apple toasted almond salad that is on my site because it’s a bit sweeter. You should give that one a try.

      Let me know if you try any other recipes and also what you thought of this salad when you make it!


  9. says

    I’ve never had kale before but this looks so good. Does the kale wilt like lettuce does? it really grosses me out when lettuce is wilted! it would be so much easier to make it the night before work so I can just grab and go, but i definitely don’t want it browning and wilting before I can gobble it up for lunch. :)

    • says

      Hi Christine. You should definitely try this salad if this is your first time trying kale. Kale holds up extremely well so it is the perfect make-ahead salad. I always make a batch up the day before to eat the next day. You want to make sure it’s covered up well and refrigerated.

      I would do a mixture of lacinato and curly kale. Curly kale holds up a bit better than lacinato kale. I have been doing a mixture of both lately and the salad is amazing.

      I have another kale salad that is wonderful for beginners. It’s my cranberry, apple & toasted almond salad. Check out that post as it has a photo of the 2 different kales.

      If you give this salad a try, please comment and let me know how you like it!

  10. Ashley says

    This was so simple and delicious! I had no idea I could actually enjoy eating kale! I ran out of lemon on my second batch so I substituted balsamic vinegar which was also very tasty. Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Hi Ashley! I’m so glad you loved this salad. It’s one of the easiest kale salads to make in my opinion, and that’s why I make it all the time. If you love this salad then you should try my miso kale salad. I love it just as much!

      I like hearing your substitution for the lemon. I will definitley give that a try.

  11. Anonymous says

    This salad was a hit! Everyone was dying for the recipe. I added some fresh chopped parsley and basil along with toasted pine nuts and halved grape tomatoes. Even the kids liked it.

    • says

      Yaay! I am so glad you loved the salad as well as your kids! I have added toasted pine nuts before and I love the crunch factor it gives to the salad. Thanks for sharing your additions as I know other readers love to check out what other people add to recipes.


  12. Anonymous says

    My variation is with lemon peel and a few chopped up roasted hazelnuts. Pecorino instead of Parmesan works really well. Yum yum. Never buy lettuce anymore.

  13. says

    I made this salad, yesterday. We left it on the counter. covered in plastic wrap and went to the movies. When we returned, I served it with chili and it was incredible. I was concerned about the lemon after tasting immediately after I prepared it but, no worries. The flavors melded and and the result was sublime. I will make this again and again! Thanks for a wonderful recipe….

  14. Anonymous says

    I absolutely love this salad! I add diced avocado and pistachio to mine to make a meal out of it. My husband loves it as well!

    • jackiegrandy says

      I’m so happy to hear you love the salad. I make this salad weekly and I never seem to tire of it. I have added avocado before, but not pistachio’s, sounds like a plan though!

  15. says

    Hi Jackie! I made your quinoa patties last night, diced up some kale and mixed it in before cooking them up – Delicious! I’m making kale salad tonight with the leftover head and will throw in some rotisserie chicken. I’ve also been know to layer the individual salad bowl with hummus then top with kale salad. Also delish! I’ve been a long time fan of Dr. Weil and dine at his restaurants here in Phoenix/Scottsdale called True Food. Everything on the menu is wonderful. In fact they have a cookbook called “True Food” that sports many of the menu items. If you haven’t already, you should check it out 😉

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Cheryl! Great idea about adding the kale to the quinoa patties, I have wanted to try that, so thanks for being my guinea pig! I will throw some in next time I make them. I love the kale and hummus idea. You can dip some pita bread in there and have a complete meal! What a perfect lunch.
      It’s so funny that you mention the Dr. Weil cookbook, True Food. I actually just picked up a copy last week. I have yet to make a recipe from it, but can’t wait to give one a try. See, thats one great thing about living in Phoenix, you get to visit his restaurant! I wish I could check out the restaurant. I think I would honestly want to try everything. What’s your favorite dish from the restaurant?

  16. CCAlex says

    A few weeks ago I made this recipe for my book club meeting. I was a resounding hit. I hadn’t used lacinato kale before and found it to be milder than regular kale, not bitter at all. Extra use of parmesan and lemon made it moist and flavorful. And it holds up so well. I’m now a regular visitor to your inspiring website!

    • jackiegrandy says

      Yaay! I’m so glad that this salad won over your book club. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser. I make it every year for the teacher’s luncheon and it’s the first thing thats gobbled up. I agree with you on the taste. A lot of people are turned off or scared to use the lacinato kale because it’s a darker green and is known to be healthier than the curly kale. What they don’t realize is that the lacinato kale is milder and less bitter than the curly kale and doesn’t have that aftertaste. I’m so glad you’re visiting the site often. Keep in touch and let me know what else you try. xoxo, Jackie

  17. Kyla says

    WINNER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My husband loathes kale. I mean, he detests it, and he is always telling his friends how his wife keeps trying to feed it to him and he just can’t stand it. Well, tonight, I’m pleased to say: HE CLEANED HIS KALE PLATE!!!! Be still my beating heart!!! I’ve wanted to try this recipe for awhile but always forget to ask for lacinato kale for my organic veg delivery. Finally remembered, and glad I did. I didn’t care if my husband liked it, because after a bite I was hooked and would have been happy to eat it all myself over the next day or two. (Thankfully I still have leftovers, because my super-taster kids still wouldn’t eat it.) I think the key here was the massage. I’ve never massaged my kale, and I think it really broke it down to absorb the dressing. I’m so excited to have this in my bag of tricks. THANK YOU!! I just love love love your blog. Everything I’ve made has been a hit!!

    • jackiegrandy says

      WOW! I woke up and read this comment and it made my morning! What a great comment to wake up to. I’m so excited and happy that your kale hating husband ate every last bite of this salad. How awesome is that? I mean awesome for both you and him. I guess you will have to ask for more kale in your next delivery. I think this salad appeals to people because it’s got all the right flavors, like the lemon and garlic along with a bit of spice from the red pepper flakes. Just the smell alone, makes me crazy for it. Massaging the kale is the key and also lacinato kale is a pretty mild kale, unlike curly kale which can taste bitter and leave a chalky after taste. I just posted another kale salad today that I think he will love just as much as this one.
      Don’t worry about your kids. I kept giving my kids kale salad until it grew on them and now they love it. Zoe even requests it in her school lunch! Thanks again for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I’m so happy that you have had such success with the recipes you have tried thus far! I think we might have the same tastes in food! Have a happy day! xoxo, Jackie

  18. Anonymous says

    Hi Jackie, it’s Seattle JAckie again. I made this last night. It was my first time ever buying kale. I even went to a different grocery store to make sure I was getting a nice, fresh kale. Anyway, my husband and I both enjoyed it a lot. Such a nice change from a traditional green salad. Plus, I was happy to find that organic kale really didn’t cost a bunch. I have leftovers for lunch today and I am excited. Love your blog

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hey Seattle Jackie! I’m so happy that you bought kale and it sounds like it was a great experience! Yaaay! Did you get the lacinato or curly kale? I think people are always surprised at how inexpensive kale is. I can usually pick up a head of organic kale for $2.99 and to me, that is a deal. I love this salad as well because you can get 2-3 meals out of it and it’s the perfect make-ahead salad. Thanks so much for stopping by and letting me know that you made and loved the salad! Can’t wait to hear what you make up next! xoxo, Jackie

  19. Anonymous says

    I bought the lacinato kale (per your suggestion). Our grocery store had 4 varieties of kale! And it was about that price (I know it was $2-something), which like you said, wasn’t bad at all. I had it for lunch yesterday and it good good, but I loved it more crisp the first night. I enjoyed it both days for sure. I can see me taking that salad to BBQs this summer. :)

    Thanks Jackie!

  20. Rachel says

    Baby kale is the newest offering in our grocery store…can I use that for this salad?
    Thanks, Rachel in Ontario

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Rachel! Yes, of course you can try it with baby kale. You may not even have to massage it that much. Enjoy! :)

  21. Heather says

    My amazing cousin who recently started cooking for my family has been trying to find a way to get us to eat kale. Tonight she succeeded, with my 10-year-old voluntarily eating 3 helpings. We ate it until it was gone. Thanks for inspiring her to win us over!

      • jackiegrandy says

        Ok, you both are too cute for words. Diane, thank you so much for introducing the salad to Heather and her family, and Heather, I’m so glad you loved it and that your 10 year old loved it as well. That is a win win in my book. Thanks for stopping by ladies and letting me know! I really love hearing from readers! xoxo, Jackie

  22. Cheui May says

    I’ve been eating a lot of kale lately, because of the nutritional benefits, but I usually cook them for longer than I would like, because I have trouble chewing them. Then of course, over cooking them robs them of nutritional content, so I was really excited to read your information, especially the part on massaging the leaves and the fact that I can prepare them ahead of time. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks!!!

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Cheui May! You will find a whole new love of kale by massaging the leaves, seriously! Massaging it breaks it down and really makes it super easy to eat. I love every single one of my kale salads, so give them all a try. This one and my kale salad with ricotta salata are my 2 faves because they’re the easiest to whip up on the fly. They are both so addicting that you have to watch yourself because you may eat a whole head of kale in one sitting. Also, both salads hold out great till day 3. Let me know what you think when you give one a try! xoxo, Jackie

  23. Cheryl says

    Wonderful salad! Thank you for the recipe. I actually added a few more things to it, mainly because we didn’t have enough kale and because I love lots of color :) I added finely sliced cherry tomatoes, sprouts, shredded carrots and finely chopped broccoli. I used parmesan cheese this time, but I believe next time I will try feta. We are huge feta lovers! Again, thank you for sharing! It’s a winner!

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Cheryl! Wow, your salad adaptions sound amazing and you threw in more nutrients to boot! I love the idea of feta as well. Once you start eating kale salads, you feel comfortable adding anything to them because they really become a base lettuce! It’s my new lettuce! xoxo, Jackie

  24. says

    I just made this and I can barely keeps my hands out of it while it’s sitting, waiting for the rest of dinner to finish! Thanks for the tips to cut the kale – so much easier/faster than what I’d been doing!

    • jackiegrandy says

      I know, isn’t it so good? I love the smell of the fresh garlic and lemon. Glad you loved the tips on how to de-stem and slice it. Thanks for stopping by Teri! :)

  25. Sylvie says

    OHMYGOD this salad is amazing. I’ve prepared a small portion for dinner (in about an hour) and I don’t think there will be any left by then because I keep coming back for forkfuls. This will definitely become a recurrent side! SO SO good! Thank you, Jackie!

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Sylvie! Woo hooo! I love hearing comments like yours. When I first ate this salad, I ate a whole head of kale in one sitting, so that tells you how addicting it is. It’s such an easy way to get your kale in! So happy you love it! Have a great night! :)

  26. Gina says

    Thanks for this! I have been avoiding kale because it sure seemed like a lot of work to cut the green leafy parts off the stem. Heading to the farmer’s market tomorrow and plan to buy kale and try this ‘trick’.

    Question, though: You said not to by tough kale but it seems that lacinto is kinda tough by nature, no? Every time I’ve checked it out at the store but that’s at a large commercial chain. Maybe it will be less thick and tough at the farmer’s market tomorrow..?

  27. jackiegrandy says

    Hi Gina! You will find that kale is the easiest green to whip up and if you read my post on how to keep kale and other greens fresh, you will have fresh de-stemmed kale at your fingertips every time you want a salad. I usually buy a couple of batches of kale and then just wash and store it till needed.
    Ok, so here’s what I mean by tough kale. Yes, lacinato kale is tough by nature, definitely tougher than lettuce etc. Sometimes you can find a batch that feels like paper in the sense that it feels hard and breakable, and there are not that many bumps (the bumps are just the texture of the kale, not actual bumps) on the leaf, it’s a bit smoother in texture and the leaf doesn’t bend well in your hand and can break apart at times. It’s hard to explain, but once you start eating kale, you will be able to feel the difference between a good batch and a tougher batch. Super tough kale doesn’t break down well, no matter how well you massage it and it doesn’t absorb the dressing well.
    Good kale feels strong, but is also softer and flexible and will have all of those tiny texture bumps on it (see top photo where I’m tearing off the stem from the leaf to see the texture bumps). I’m sure that your farmers market will have amazing batches of kale. They will probably laugh if you ask them if about tough kale, as I don’t think that’s really the right word to describe it. If I could just show you in person, you would totally understand and feel the difference. I have actually been at whole foods before and readers have asked me to show them the difference. My daughter is going to film me making this kale salad soon and I will try and show on video the difference between the two. Ok, here’s to hoping that you get a good batch today! Let me know how it all turns out for you and sorry for this lengthy and super long explanation! xoxo, Jackie :)

  28. jengd says

    Made this tonight for dinner- HUGE hit. My 5yr old was upset there was none left and he’d have to wait until tomorrow when we get more kale to have more.

    • jackiegrandy says

      Awesome! Wow, to have your 5 year old be sad that there wasn’t anymore kale is awesome! I’m so happy the salad was a hit! Thanks for letting me know! :) xoxo, Jackie

  29. erin says

    Made this for dinner last night because my CSA box included Lacinato Kale. This was absolutely delicious – even my skeptical husband like it. Thanks.

    • jackiegrandy says

      Awesome Erin! I’m so glad that you gave this salad a try and loved it! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know :) xoxo, Jackie

  30. Andrea says

    This Kale salad changed my life! It is absolutely addictive.
    Love your blog, I check in at least twice a week when I’m looking for a healthy family meal.

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Andrea! I’m so glad to hear that this salad has changed your life :) It’s been a life changer for me as well. Try the kale ricotta salata one next. It’s my other fave. Thanks for checking in each week girl I really appreciate it :) xoxo, Jackie

  31. NK says

    I’m new with kale, the only kale I had was the chips from restaurant and its yummy because of the crunchiness, but I believe there’s not much nutritional values left after its being deep fry. I had never prepare or buy it before until yesterday at the grocery it look so fresh and good, so I bought some to make smoothie with coconut juice since that’s what I had at home. Your recipe look so yummy, I’ll definitely give it a try and I’ll add some cherry tomatoes and extra garlic as some reviewer advised. I might toss in some pine nut, I think it’ll be good with it. Thank you for a great recipe, I’ll be back to update how it turn out :)

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi NK! If you can, watch my video first. I explain the type of kale to get, how to wash, de-stem and thinly slice it and also how to massage it. It’s helpful for people who are new to kale. I hope you end up trying the salad and that it turns you into a kale lover :) xoxo, Jackie

      • NK says

        Hi Jackie,
        I haven’t try the salad yet, but I try the bake pasta with pancetta today and I use prosciutto instead, I also change the basic tomato sauce to a little more flavorful, I omit thyme and add Italian seasoning, oregano, fresh basil, 1 can tomato plus 6 fresh peeled tomatoes and extra olive oil, I skip the purée process because I love the taste of tomatoes and I want to be able to taste it when it’s nice and soft, just make sure to sauté the fresh tomatoes before adding the can tomatoes.
        The pasta was a hit, it’s so tasty and full of flavor.
        I’ll try your kale salad recipe this weekend and will let you know if I like it, I’m pretty sure my mom and I will like it, but I’m not too sure about my husband, he’s very picky and he’s a meat eater, I try to make him eat a little greens as much as I could.
        Thank you for such great recipe, I have a list of recipes from you that I want to cook and I can’t wait to try all of them :)

        • jackiegrandy says

          I love your additions and substitutions to the baked pasta! I’ll have to try that next time :)
          I hope you enjoy the kale salad. You might be surprised and your hubby might just like it. My hubby is a total meat and potatoes guy, (grew up in the Midwest) but he had grown to love my kale salads and quinoa dishes. I even have some readers whose husbands would not come near kale and loved this salad. If you use lacinato kale, it doesn’t taste bitter. It really just tastes like a normal lettuce, especially if it’s massaged. I hope you enjoy! xoxo, Jackie

          • Anonymous says

            Hi Jackie,
            I try the kale salad yesterday and love it love it!!! It’s so so good, my husband said it wasn’t too bad, I guess that’s a compliment coming from him :), he’s half Italian and he make the best Italian food. I’ll definitely make this salad again and again, it’s so refreshing and yummy, I add some pine nut and it really compliment the dish well. Do you think cherry tomatoes will be good with this? I love tomatoes of any kind. Thank you for such a great recipe :)

            • jackiegrandy says

              Hi NK? You should leave me your name next time so I can say hi 😉
              I’m glad to hear that your picky hubby liked the salad, maybe overtime he will grow to love it. My hubby prefers the kale salad with ricotta salata, so maybe give that one a try next. I love the addition of the pine nuts. Yes, try cherry tomatoes, I mean why not? I’m sure they would taste great. I would add them at the end after you have massaged the kale and added the parm. Let me know how it tastes! Have a great day! xoxo, Jackie

              • Anonymous says

                Hi Jackie,
                My name is nhukhue, it doesn’t pronounce the way it’s spell, so I go by NK instead, it’s easier to remember :). I make this salad again today cause my mom want to try it and both my mom and my stepdad love it, I add some crispy prosciutto and it was good too, we serve it with smoked salmon and French bagget with European butter of course, I love their butter, my niece and I can eat the butter all by itself, I guess it’s okay for me to eat it this way since I’m trying to gain at least 7 more pounds.
                I’ll try ricotta next time, I’m sure my husband will like it more since he’s a big fan of ricotta.
                I hope you have a wonderful week and I will let you know when I try another dish from you :)

  32. says

    Yep. That’s a keeper. I even made it with a vegan parm I found (wasn’t sure how it would taste) and it is fantastic. I just made it now and I’m not sure it’s going to make it to the dinner table. 😉

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Steph! Yaay! So glad you made and loved the salad. I usually grab a few bites before dinner as well. It’s just too tempting and the perfect pre-dinner healthy snack! xoxo, Jackie

  33. Lisa says

    Made this today with curly kale inherited from a friend’s CSA box. WOW! Super easy, incredibly delicious (this is one where the sum definitely seems greater than the parts) and *my 22 month old loved it!* He is generally great with veggies, but kale was a bit of a surprise even to me.

    So thanks – cannot wait to try more of your recipes!

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Lisa! Yaay! So glad to hear that this salad was a hit with you and your 22 month old. You’re one lucky mom that your son is starting out with such a love of vegetables. I think if we start them early and they see us enjoying them, then they will as well. Kids imitate their parents and if they see us enjoying something delicious, then they will be curious and want to try it as well. What a great mom you are starting your son early!
      I can’t wait to see what else you try from the blog! xoxo, Jackie

  34. says

    I made this salad for dinner tonight as a side. It was very tasty and easy/fun to make. I think I’d like to try it with curly kale, too. Either way, we really liked it. It’s funny though, because I feel like I taste a bit of banana aftertaste every time I make a kale salad.

    Also, I LOVE your video! You should definitely make more. Your kids loving this salad totally sold me on it.

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Kelli! Yaay! I’m so glad that you had fun making and eating up this salad. It tastes great mixed with curly kale as well, and the curly kale helps give the salad a bit of fluff. Funny that you taste a banana aftertaste with kale, I don’t think I’ve experienced that :) I’m glad you loved the video. Zoe and I were talking to our family in MN and they kept saying that we had to make more videos. So, I guess that’s next on our list! Have a great night girl! xoxo, Jackie

  35. says

    Just thought I’d share that my almost 3 year old son just shoved this into his mouth! I put everything we eat on his plate so he sees it at least and didn’t expect him to eat it. He ate his fish and then I nonchalantly asked him if he wanted some kale and he immediately ate up what was on his plate like it was nothing. I make this salad all the time, but I’ve yet to see him eat it up – thanks! :)

    • jackiegrandy says

      Awesome news Steph! You’re doing everything right by putting on your son’s plate what you and your hubby are eating. Kids watch us and when they see us devouring and enjoying something, they want to do the same. Keep it up girl :) xoxo, Jackie

  36. says

    This salad made a kale believer out of me! Positively addicting. ;-}
    Thank you so much – especially for all the how-to photos and video.
    BTW I lived in Marin for 30 yrs – loved it then and love Portland now.

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Rebecca! Yay! I’m so happy that you love this salad as well. It’s still one of our faves! We actually just had it for dinner last night! Glad you loved the video as well. It was fun to put together and I’m thinking Zoe and I need to make another one soon! So cool that you lived in Marin for 30 years. I love it here. I just biked up Mt. Tam on Sunday and I kept looking out at the view as I was biking up and I was so grateful! It’s so beautiful here. Portland is beautiful as well! I’ve never been, but I hear it’s absolutely gorgerous there! xoxo, Jackie

      • says

        Oh, yes, Mt Tam!! Had so many fabulous times up there.. I lived mostly in San Anselmo which was a great little town. But parts of Portland remind me of Marin and the food scene here is amazing – rivals San Francisco! You would love that. Look forward to trying more of your recipes.. Thanks, Jackie!

  37. Allison Davis says

    Well, I am addicted to this salad. Its so easy for one, and I actually got my Redneck (and proud) son to admit it was good ! Thanks !

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Allison! Yaay! I’m so happy that you’re addicted to this salad as well, so welcome to the club :) I’m also happy to hear that your son said it was good! Whoo hoo! I just had this for dinner tonight paired with my quinoa wrap. It’s just too easy not to make, right? Have a great week girl! xoxo, Jackie

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Nikki! Awesome news girl! I’m so happy that you both loved this salad! It’s one of my faves! :) xoxo, Jackie

  38. Michelle says

    Thank you so much for the wonderful recipes. I’ve tried three in the past two days and all of them turned out perfectly and were so delicious. The kale salad was the biggest surprise, I never thought. Kale could taste so good! Even my picky boyfriend loved it. Keep up the great work. Can’t wait to try even more of your recipes.
    Thanks again.

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Michelle! Yaay! I’m so happy you have had some recipe successes from my blog, that truly makes my heart happy! :) Kale is good, I keep telling people that, and once they try a massaged kale salad, they realize that it’s amazing! I think because they hear that it’s so nutritional, they think that it’s going to taste nutritional :) I can’t wait to hear what you try next girl! Thanks for sharing! xoxo, Jackie

  39. julie says

    This salad looks delicious! I just watched your video and have to say it was fun to watch. Loved the bit by your daughter at the end and after the credits. She’s a kick! And darling!

    Thank you for showing me a shortcut to removing the ribs from the kale. I laughed when I saw how easy that was compared to my knife method. Duh. I also appreciated seeing how you rolled the kale to cut it. Certainly another fabulous tip. Thanks.

    I’m really enjoying your site and am excited to try your recipes. They’re not overly complicated, they’re healthy, and your photography really makes the food beautiful.

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Julie! You’re super sweet! I’m so happy that you watched the entire video and that you learned some helpful tips. Not everyone watches it till the end, and the end is honestly my favorite part, as Zoe is total ham :) Thanks so much for your sweet comment, it really makes my heart happy. I try and only post recipes that my family and I love and make over and over! I hope that you find some favorite recipes on here! xoxo, Jackie

  40. Opal says

    I never thought I would see the day my husband or I would eat Kale. We both loved this recipe, and eat it all the first night I made it. I had tried Kale before and did not like it. Thanks for the recipe. I am now a Kale fan. My question is do you think this would work with Spinach or would the Spinach be too soft?

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Opal ! I’m so happy to hear that this recipe turned you and your hubby into kale lovers. I wouldn’t recommend it with spinach. Spinach is like tough kale, it won’t break down if you massage it, it will just break apart and won’t absorb the dressing. Now, you could always pour the dressing over the spinach as a regualr salad dressing, but I haven’t tried that yet. :) xoxo, Jackie

  41. N Di Lauro says

    Thank you for sharing this delicious kale recipe. It’s the first time I try lacinato kale, and I love it. The dressing with the parmesan cheese made it extra special. The photos were really helpful and because of the visual impact, I made the recipe the very same night.

    • jackiegrandy says

      Awesome! I’m so happy that you loved this salad! It’s my fave! Thanks for the sweet comments on the photos as well. I’m happy they helped! xoxo, Jackie

  42. says

    I made this last night, but couldn’t find the kale at the store. I ended up buying a mix of organic kale, chard, and spinach and it turned out amazing! The only bad part it my family ate it too, and now I don’t have leftovers :(

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Amiee! Awesome news girl. I’m glad that you found some tasty substitutes and that the salad was a hit with the family. I guess you’ll just have to make more, right? xoxo, Jackie

  43. Rob Tyson says

    Another nice variation in this salad, similar to what Aimee posted above, is to use kale, swiss chard, and collard greens. The lemon juice does a nice job breaking down the fibers in the collards. Excellent super green salad!

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Rob! So funny, but swiss chard is one sale where I work, so I was going to pick some up and try this dressing with it! Thanks for the recommendation. :)

  44. Rebecca says

    Thank you so much for this recipe — the first time I’ve genuinely enjoyed eating kale (a sin for a vegetarian, right?) and I love that this salad continues to taste great the next day!

    • jackiegrandy says

      Awesome Rebecca! I’m so happy that this salad got you to enjoy kale again. I swear I literally eat thsi saald everyday. I have tons of other kale salads on my blog, but this is by far my fave and the easiset to make! :) xoxo, Jackie

  45. Jon says

    I can’t get enough of this salad. I made it several months ago and it is now my “go to.” I can eat it every day! Also tried your chickpea burgers which are very good. Marin Mama is now my new favorite recipe site–thanks for your hard work!

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Jon! Yaay! I’m so happy to hear that this is now your “go-to” salad! It’s been mine for the past 3 years and I can’t believe that I’m not sick of it :) I’m glad you love the chickpea burgers as well. I really need to make those again soon, so thanks for reminding me :)
      I’m so happy that Marin mama is one of your favorite sites!! Thanks Jon :)
      xoxo, Jackie

  46. Jessica says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I love this salad. I added a can of drained white beans and ate the whole thing for dinner. Delicious!!

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Jessica! I’m so happy to hear that you loved this kale salad. I love the addition of white beans. I may have to give that a shot next time. I’ve been topping my salad with avocado lately and loving that addition. You can really top anything on this salad and it will taste great :) xoxo, Jackie

  47. says

    I made this kale salad tonight! It is the first time I’ve eaten kale raw. It was so amazing, and I can’t stop thinking about eating the rest that’s left in the refrigerator. And then I’m going to make more. I don’t really eat that healthy. I had two Filet of Fish sandwiches from McDonald’s for lunch. So I’m happy that I can eat healthy food that I love. Thank you for your wonderful recipe and post. And you are adorbs in your video.

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Jonathan! Yaay! I’m so glad that you love raw kale now! Isn’t it the best? It’s super healthy as well. You’re hilarious aobut the Flilet of Fish sandwiches 😉 It’s all about balance in life I beleive, so go ahead and balance out the good with the bad :) I actually balance out kale and quinoa with dessert. I’m addicted to sweets and chocolate! Thanks for your sweet comment on the video, it was fun making it and I hope to get a few more out this summer! I may do one for my heirloom tomato soup! Have a wonderful week Johathan! xoxo, Jacquelyn

  48. says

    I had never heard of this particular variety of kale until I came across your blog so I was excited to find it at my local nursery this spring. It’s thriving in my little garden. The leaves are so young and tender that I don’t even have to de-stem. I’ve added shredded raw beets for a little added nutrition. Mmmm. Thanks for sharing.

  49. michaela says

    Oh my god Jackie! You just redeemed Kale for me. First time I ate a kale salad at Whole Foods I spit it up right away. But this one is something else. Thank you Thank you! You are right you can eat a whole head of kale in one sitting if made this way.

    • jackiegrandy says

      Awesome Michaela! I’m so happy to hear that my kale salad has turned you into a kale fan, yaay! I honeslty massaging the kale makes a HUGE difference in the taste and texture of the salad. The salads at Whole Foods use the curly kale (which tastes bitter to me) and they don’t massage the kale, so that’s probably why it didn’t taste so great! Thanks for stopping by and saying hi girl! :) xoxo, Jacquelyn

  50. Angela says

    Oh man, this is the BEST. I have seriously been making an enormous batch of this twice a week for about the past month! I’ve been getting huge bags of kale from a local Amish stand very inexpensively, so I took them your chocolate cake yesterday as a thank you. They said it was the best they’d ever had. Not bad!

  51. says

    Hey Marin Mama, thank you soooo much for this simple but delicious salad! This salad has converted my fiancé into a kale eater! We make it all the time! I also work and take classes, so it’s great since I can make it ahead of time and eat it during the week. I love it!

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Jasmine! You’re SO welcome sweetie! I’m so happy that this salad is a fave in the house! I’m actually making up a batch for dinner tonight, as well as tomorrow (kale obsessed over here). It’s seriosuly one of our favorite salads and we never tire of it. I’m happy to hear that your fiancé has turned into a kale lover! Yippee! Another one has been converted 😉 xoxo, Jacquelyn

  52. Catherine says

    Hi Marin Mama! The kale salad is very yummy and it feels so good when you eat something so healthy. My question is about the white bowl you used for the salad in you lovely pics. I have all white, simply styled dishes and am always looking to add to my collection. I like the shape of your bowl and the very white porcelain looks to be of good quality. Can you tell me where you got them and if they are still available? Thank you so much!

  53. Andrea Lynn says

    Just bought a couple bunches of organic kale from the local grocer…some healthy wave came over me I guess. I typically put it in my smoothies, but I was eager for something different with the kale. Found your recipe in a search and whipped it up easily…had all ingredients including one last lemon on hand! Letting it “rest” now, but the dressing sure is amazing! The ribbons of kale make it seem more palatable in my “texture sensitive” mouth. Thanks for the recipe!

    • jackiegrandy says

      Hi Andrea! Yaay! I’m so glad that you found my recipe and that you had everything on hand to whip it up. You really don’t need to let it rest! I always make up a batch and end up stealing bites from it as I’m puttering around the kitchen cooking up the rest of dinner. I hope you LOVE it. It’s still my all-time favorite kale salad and I actually had some for lunch today paired with some homemade sweet potato fries! Yum! xoxo, Jacquelyn

  54. Eugenia says

    I purchased this type of kale for the first time today. I googled how to make a salad with it and your blog came up. Awesome! I used black pepper and macadamia nut oil since it was all I had. Forgot to buy olive oil today.

  55. jackiegrandy says

    Hi there! I love your additions and I will totally give them a try. Thanks so much for sharing them :) xoxo, Jacquelyn


  1. […] Lacinato kale salad. Yes, I make up two salads because one kale salad is never enough in Marin mama’s house, and it’s nice to have the variety. Both of these salads are crowd pleasers and can be made up ahead of time. I make them both up about and hour or two before my guests arrive and then just store them in the fridge. I usually take them out about 1/2 hour before dinner is going to be served, so that they come to room temp.  Easy peasy! […]

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