Ways To Modify This Quinoa Salad
NUTS AND SEEDS: I used sliced almonds in this salad but I also love using pine nuts, pecans, walnuts or sunflower seeds.
CHEESE: This salad does not use cheese but I think it would be a great addition. Try goat cheese, feta cheese, Parmesan cheese or mozzarella cheese.
FRESH FRUIT: The sweet apples are great in this quinoa salad but other fruit works nicely too. I also enjoy sliced pear, oranges or pomegranate seeds.
VEGETABLES: Fresh vegetables are a nice addition to this salad. You could add carrots, radish, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper, mushrooms, squash or broccoli.
FRESH HERBS: I think that herbs take salads to the next level like fresh parsley, basil or mint.
GRAINS: Quinoa works nicely in this salad but you could also use bulgur wheat, brown rice, farro or wheat berries.
BEANS: I often add beans for added protein. I think that white beans or chickpeas would work best in this salad.
How Do You Cook Kale
We follow the same process as preparing Kale for a salad except for two steps. First we do not need to dry the Kale after rinsing. In fact the additional water helps the Kale steam quicker. Secondly it only takes a few minutes to tenderize the Kale in a saute pan.
Take out a saute pan and add ¼ cup water or vegetable stock. Turn on the burner to start heating the liquids. At the same time start to add the Kale. We are going to use 1 cup or 67 grams or 2.4 ounces. Add the Kale in bunches. Stir the Kale into the liquids before adding more. Cover and simmer for 5-minutes to wilt the Kale. Remove cover and simmer until liquids are evaporated or until desired texture. Take a few taste tests to determine tenderness. Then season with salt and pepper. Now it is ready for your recipe. Personally I would not enjoy cooked Kale without some accompianments! Store leftovers in the refrigerator for several days.
Massaged Raw Kale Salad
Other salads I love are prosciutto wrapped figs with blue cheese, green bean salad and kale salad with quinoa and cranberries.
I realize it might sound odd to massage your greens. But you will be surprised by how this tough green leaf transforms into a tender, light salad. As you rub it with olive oil using your hands, the leaves darken and shrink in size and the texture becomes soft its delicious! Then its tossed with lemon juice and grated parmesan cheese. Gluten-free, vegetarian and easy to make.
I cant believe I never shared a massage kale salad on my blog. I eat them often, sometimes with avocado, or craisins and almonds. So when I got my hands on The Kitchn Cookbook and saw this recipe listed as a side dish in the book, I knew this would be perfect to share.
The Kitchn Cookbook from Apartment Therapys cooking site The Kitchn, has great tips for setting up the perfect organized kitchen, storage tips and over 150 recipes with full-page color photographs and a cooking school with 50 lessons perfect for the beginner cook, newlyweds, college graduates or anyone learning how to cook.
The best part about this salad is that you can make it, refrigerate it, and its still perfect the next day. It wont get wilted or soggy like lettuce once its tossed with dressing. So its the perfect salad to make ahead for lunch just add your favorite salad fixins.
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How To Massage Kale
Our go-to method: Add chopped kale to a large bowl and top with lemon juice and olive oil. Use clean hands to massage for about 3 minutes to soften the leaves and infuse the leaves with the oil and lemon. A pinch of salt added near the end of massaging adds even more flavor.
Youll notice in the photo below that by the end of massaging the kale gets quite glossy and is slightly reduced in volume. Thats exactly what youre going for.
How To Serve This Kale Salad
This kale salad is classic and the perfect green salad to pair with for all sorts of dinner recipes. Since its Italian in vibe, it goes particularly well with Italian recipes. But it also truly pairs well with anything! It works in fall, winter, spring or anytime. Here are a few dinner recipes wed pair it with:
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Video: How To Cut Kale For This Kale Salad
Whats the best way to stem or chop kale for this kale salad? Weve toyed with various methods over the years, but weve finally ended up with one that is slick and simple. Using this method changed the game for us, and we hope it will for you too!
- Fold the leaves of the kale together and hold them with your non-cutting hand.
- Cut off the tough stem with a large chefs knife.
- Roll up the kale leaves and cut them into slices, using a circular motion with the knife.
- Rotate the slices and chop them in the other direction to make small pieces. Repeat for all the kale leaves.
How To Make Kale Less Bitter
If you think kale is a bitter pill to swallow, youre partially right. Kale IS known for its bitterness, as are many other healthy leafy greens such as chard.
BUT. There is hope! When kale is at its best, it actually tastes DELICIOUS, almost sweet, rather than bitter. Here are tips to bring out its best flavor.
- Kale grown in colder weather is less bitter. Frost actually enhances its flavor. So if you can get it in season, or if you can grow it yourself in colder weather , it will taste much better.
- Cut the kale BEFORE washing it. You can give it a little rinse before, but rinsing it off after cutting it removes more of the bitterness.
- Soak the chopped kale in ice water. The cold will help remove some of the bitterness, and this will also help deep clean the leaves . Note: This will also help perk the leaves up if they are a bit wilted, a trick that works with all leafy greens, celery, herbs, etc.!
- Serve the kale with something sweet. Pair it with a sweeter salad dressing and/or fruit in a salad. Cook it with bacon, which usually has added sugar in it. The sweetness will help balance out the bitter flavor.
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Rinsing And Drying The Kale
My preference is to thoroughly rinse the Kale after chopping. Another option is to rinse the whole leaves before you chop. Lets give the Kale a good rinse and dry. Be sure to rinse away any dirt and grit because that will not be fun to eat! Dont be shy. Move the Kale around and look to see if dirt and grit are being wash off the Kale. If you have a salad spinner, give it a good spin! If storing or making a salad, let the Kale dry. Typically layering it in paper towels is helpful to remove most of the water. Another great option is to roll the Kale within the paper towels to speed up the drying process. It helps squeeze out the excess water. If necessary, let it finish air dry before storing. If cooking the Kale right away, drying is not as important. At the of this post, is a short video showing your how to remove the rib and cut the Kale. It is pretty quick once you get the hang of it!
Easy Massaged Kale Salad
If youve ever wondered why some people suggest massaging kale before eating it, youve come to the right place.
Were here to share the how and why of massaging kale, plus our go-to kale salad for hosting. Lets do this!
This 15-minute, 6-ingredient salad starts with the kale our favorite variety being curly. Heres why:
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How To Make Kale Salad With Lemon Dressing
Ingredients For Kale Salad
Below are the ingredients you need to make this kale salad recipe.
- Fresh kale – Most grocery stores carry both Tuscan kale and curly kale. Either type works for this recipe.
- Red onion – We’re thinly slicing it for this recipe so get those onion goggles ready!
- Cherry tomatoes – Or grape tomatoes work too.
- Cucumber – Not English cucumber, just your regular seed filled one.
- Lemons – You will squeeze the juice out!
- Prosciutto – You can substitute with bacon if you prefer.
- Feta – I prefer buying a block and crumbling it myself, but you can grab the already crumbled stuff.
- Olive oil – The base of the dressing, or use an equal amount of avocado oil.
- Dijon mustard – Any brand. I use store generic.
- Salt & pepper – Freshly cracked is best, but any is good.
or scroll to the bottom of this post for the full recipe ingredients and instructions.
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How To Make This Summery Kale Salad
To make this kale salad, simply start by preparing and massaging your kale as described above.
Then, chop or crush your croutons finely and add them to the bowl. Once that is done, prepare the dressing by mixing the remainder of the ingredients together in a small bowl, and adjust the seasonings as desired.
Finally, toss the dressing, along with the parmesan cheese, into the bowl and mix well to combine. Serve immediately, or store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. Enjoy!
If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a review and rating below! And, since I practically live on , be sure to tag me in your creations so that I can repost them! xx
Watch How To Make Debs Kale Salad
The recipe came from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman, from which many more recipes are to come. I would imagine that if youve found your way to this food blog, then surely you are familiar with Smitten Kitchen.
Debs blog is, simply stated, the best. Honestly, I sometimes wonder why anyone bothers with food blogging when Deb has so clearly mastered the medium. Her writing is captivating and witty. Her recipes are unfailingly stellar in both concept and execution. Her photos make you want to quit whatever it is that youre supposed to be doing when you find yourself drooling at her blog and hop into the kitchen immediately.
I had been eagerly awaiting the release of her cookbook for months and now that I have my own copy resting on my coffee table, I can say that it is magnificent. Every recipe has been meticulously tested and illustrated in photographs by Deb herself, and Deb never lets you down. If you like to cook, you are going to want this cookbook. If youre not sure what to buy as gifts this holiday season, make it this cookbook. Seriously. Did I mention that she has a full vegetarian section and 90 pages of desserts in there?
I made a few alterations to Debs kale salad recipe, given the season and what I had in stock in my pantry. I added a chopped Granny Smith apple and traded dried cranberries for the dried cherries. I also used apple cider vinegar instead of white wine vinegar, though Im not sure I can really taste the difference in the end result.
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How To Chop Kale
I usually like to cut kale into small pieces, about 1/2-1 big. This is perfect for salad, to add to soups, etc. If you want to steam kale or sauté it, you may want bigger pieces, around 2-4.
Just fold it in half or stack a few leaves on top of each other and run your chefs knife over it in both directions, until you get smaller pieces.
Variation: Kale Caesar Salad
Love a good Caesar dressing instead? Kale Caesar Salad is another way to enjoy a good kale salad: and its very similar to this one. Instead, whip up our favorite homemade Caesar dressing to coat the kale leaves. The creamy dressing is irresistibly tasty, and we like it showered with crunchy panko breadcrumbs.
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How To Wash Kale
Its important to wash kale thoroughly, because it can have a lot of dirt on it, particularly if you grow it yourself. Its also important to dry it thoroughly before storing it.
How Long Does Kale Salad Last
Kale salad will last for seven days when you store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I recommend storing the salad dressing separately.
Did you make this kale salad? If so, tag @TheLemonBowl on Instagram to be featured! While youre here, you might also like to check out these recipes:
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Kale Salad Recipe Ingredients
- Olive oil: Regular or extra-virgin olive oil will work depending on how strong of a flavor youd like.
- Lemon juice: In a pinch lime juice will work too. Be sure to use fresh.
- Apple cider vinegar: White wine or red wine vinegar can be used instead.
- Maple syrup: Dont use pancake syrup. Honey is another great option.
- Dijon mustard: If youre out regular yellow mustard will be ok since its a small amount.
- Salt and pepper: Season dressing with a fair amount.
- Kale: I make this with curly kale but Tuscan kale will be tasty too.
- Apple: Pears are another great option.
- Carrots: No great subs here, just omit if you are out.
- Slivered almonds: Substitute with walnuts or pecans.
- Sharp white cheddar: Other options are yellow cheddar, gouda, provolone, Colby or Swiss or feta.
- Red onion: Green onions will work as well.
Does Massaging Kale Make It Less Bitter
The process of softening kale also helps to reduces the vegetables bitterness by releasing bitter compounds. Some claim that massaged kale therefore needs to be rinsed before eating, since the bitter compounds may stay on the leaves after they have been released.
However, I have personally never found this to be a problem if you are using the kale in a salad with a flavorful dressing. In addition to massaging kale, you can reduce its bitter flavor by pairing it with acidic and sweet ingredients, such as citrus juices or vinegars in a dressing and fruits in a salad.
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How To Make This Kale Quinoa Salad:
COOK THE QUINOA: Cook the quinoa according to the package and let cool.
In a large mixing bowl combine kale and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
MASSAGE THE KALE: Use your hands to massage the chopped kale until it becomes soft, about 2 minutes.
Put the kale into a large salad bowl and add in the spinach, almonds, apples and red onion and gently toss.
Add the quinoa and toss to combine.
MAKE THE DRESSING: To make the dressing, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper in a mason jar or small bowl.
Pour the dressing on top and stir gently to combine. Serve immediately and store leftovers in an airtight container.
How To Make Kale Salad:
To make this kale salad recipe, simply
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How To Make A Delicious Salad With Kale
The full recipe with exact recipe measurement is listed below in the recipe card. For now, heres a quick guide on how to make this perfectly.
To begin, clean your kale properly and wash it at least 3 times to remove any debris and dirt. After washing the kale, chop the kale into bite-sized leaves as they will become soft and tender.
Place the bite size kale pieces in a clean bowl and set aside.
Slice the green apples or about 5 pre-cut pieces and cut them as Julienne.
Slice the celery stalk as Julienne.
Place them into iced water to make them crispy while you roast the pine nuts.
Roast Pine nuts in a pan or in oven for 2-3 minutes maximum. Then set aside.
Add the apples and celery to the kale and set aside.
Make the dressing: Combine Kosher salt or Sea Salt if preferred, Olive Oil and Lemon Juice with using a whisk.
Add the Dressing into Kale and massage it for 5 minutes, hands can be used instead of spoon or fork.
Add the pine nuts and continue mixing. Then add in the pomegranate kernels.
Transfer to a bowl or platter and serve.
Thats it! Youre ready to serve and eat your salad.