Cooking with Alison

Favourite Kale Salad Recipe

In Soups and Salads on April 25, 2016 at am

John and I are lucky enough to be apart of a community garden down the street from our home. We grow kale every year and we love making salads with the young tender leaves. But you don’t need a garden to enjoy kale salads. You can use the older bunches of kale that you find in grocery stores. The trick is to massage the leaves with citrus/vinegar and extra virgin olive oil until the leaves darken in colour and soften in texture. What I love most about kale salads is that the leaves maintain their texture despite being doused with salad dressing.

I made enough of this salad for 30 people for John’s birthday BBQ and people loved it.  I wasn’t able to get a photo of it before people had already started digging in! This recipe is very versatile and you can use whatever vinegar or citrus fruit, dried fruit, nuts, and cheese you happen to have on hand.



Kale Salad with Apples, Nuts, and Pecorino

makes 4 servings; adapted from here

2 bunches of fresh kale, washed well and dried

1/3 cup finely and freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for garnish if desired (Note: Parmigiano Reggiano works, too. I use a Microplane brand fine cheese grater.)

1/2 of an apple, cored and finely diced (Note: I prefer using honey crisp apples.)

1/4 nuts, lighly toasted in a dry pan over medium heat (Note: I usually use slivered almonds or pine nuts.)

1/4 cup dried fruit, optional (Note: I usually use raisins, golden raisins, or Craisins (dried cranberries).)

freshly squeezed juice from 1 1/2 lemons, or more to taste (Note: Sometimes I use freshly squeezed orange juice instead. Any type of vinegar would work well, too. Start with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and then add more to taste as needed.)

60 mL (4 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil

20 mL (4 teaspoons) maple syrup (Note: I used a medium maple syrup. If you are using a very sweet vinegar, then you may not need as much maple syrup.)

freshly ground black pepper

coarse sea salt

Cut the stems and thick ribs away from the kale leaves. If the kale leaves are quite large, tear them into smaller pieces. Place the kale into a large glass or ceramic bowl. Drizzle over the extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Using your hands, toss the leaves until well combined with the dressing. Gently massage the oil and citrus juice into the kale until the colour of the leaves darkens and the texture of the leaves softens. This will only take a few minutes. Then toss in the maple syrup and a pinch of black pepper. Taste test and adjust the seasonings to taste. Add a pinch of salt if desired, but keep in mind that the cheese will add saltiness to the salad. Add the grated cheese, apple, nuts, and dried fruit if using. Gently toss together. Just prior to serving, add additional grated cheese onto the top if desired.



Salt if desired
  1. I don’t really like kale but my daughter does..I have to prepare different dishes for her so I started looking for recipes in the internet..But still I cannot get myself to eat that! Today I made your salad and I have to confess that it was quite good for my! My daughter said that it’s her favorite salad! I prepared it from freshly cut kale because I grow it in my yard. I have Halbhoher seeds because I heard they are very tasty. Have you ever grown kale?

    • Hi Caroline! I’m so glad you and your daughter liked the salad recipe! We grow kale in our garden too, but it took me a while to fall in love with it. Since you’re still weary of it 😉 try using it to make soups and stews. That’s how I fell in love with it. Now I prefer kale over spinach. Thanks so much for your comment!

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