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4 Steps to Rock Your Next Kale Salad

Posted by on Feb 20, 2014 in Inspiration, Recipes | No Comments

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It’s full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It’s anti-inflammatory, beautifying and supports detoxification. It’s got antioxidants that help to keep your eyes and heart healthy and reduce the risk of cancer. With all these health benefits, are you searching for more ways to get kale into your life?

I’ve fielded many a question on how to make a perfect kale salad and want to share my secrets with you and empower you to rock your next kale salad. The perfect kale salad is easier than you think, and requires just a few steps and a little creativity.

Choose Your Own Adventure Kale Salad

STEP 1: Choose your kale.

There are a few varieties of kale with slightly different tastes and textures:

  • Curly:  your best bet if you’re a kale salad newbie, it’s the milder, more silky variety
  • Lacinato (dinosaur, cavolo nero): an Italian variety of kale with a stronger kale taste, your best bet with anchovies, hard cheese, lemon juice and a sweet dried fruit
  • Purple: it’s got purple stems and a more floral, almost soapy taste, your best bet with a shallot dressing with lots of lemon and something sweet
  • Baby: more convenient because it usually comes washed, baby kale is a good bet for busy people. It’s not as high in nutrients as full grown kale and has a lighter taste and texture, so omit step 2

Wash the kale, remove the stems, tear into bite-sized pieces and proceed to step 2.

STEP 2:  Massage, massage, massage.

Remove your rings, roll up your sleeves, and dive in with a mixture of fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and a small pinch of sea salt. This massagey love breaks down the fibrous kale, leaving it silky smooth. Do this early. Since kale is a hearty green, it doesn’t really get soggy. It needs your massagey love and a little down time to become amazing. So don’t skip this step! If you’re taking your kale salad to a party, do the massaging earlier in the day and then dress it when you get to the party (more on that later).


Steam. Steamed kale will be silky smooth, just like massaged. Allow to cool and proceed to steps 3 and 4.

STEP 3: Add some sweet and crunchy flavours and textures.

  • Sweet: grated beets or carrots, roasted squash or sweet potato, tomatoes, peppers, goji berries, dried cranberries, currants or raisins.
  • Crunchy: jicama, sliced red peppers, toasted or raw nuts and seeds.
  • Always appreciated: avocado, olives, tempeh, any hard goat or sheep cheese, such as pecorino romano (if using cheese, you can omit dressing in step 4).

STEP 4:  Top with a bold, flavourful dressing.

Bold flavours are garlic (either raw or roasted), shallots or anchovies, lemon, and/or a hard goat or sheep cheese, such as pecorino romano (if you can tolerate dairy). The best dressings are held together with olive oil or creamy tahini. Some of my favourite go-to kale salad dressings: Dreamy Tahini, Shallot, Caesar.

Enjoy your beautiful and creative kale salad. Feel free to share your creation in the comments section.

Want more kale recipes?

Try my Kale Caesar, Fall Kale Superfood Salad or Miso and Tahini Creamed Kale. Not a kale salad fan? Try my Lemony Lentil Stew (with Kale) or Recovery Kale Smoothie.

I’ll be away next week in Guatemala, doing lots of yoga and exploring the beautiful sights. I’ll see you back the week after. xo Andrea


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