Tuscan Raw Kale Salad


Tuscan Raw Kale Salad

We were excited to hear the positive response to kale from our recipe for mashed potatoes with kale. Looks like the word is out on the nutritional benefits of this super food!

Your comments made us recall this salad we made last season with raw – yes, raw kale. It might sound a bit strange, but with a delicious Tuscan-style dressing of lemon, Pecorino cheese, and garlic, the bitter taste of the kale is mellowed and melds beautifully with the other flavors. Plus, the sturdy texture of the kale holds up well in a salad, and provides an extra crunch when eating.

We’ve revamped the recipe and photo, which stars some green and purple kale from Big City Farms we found at the Indy Winter Farmer’s Market. We’ve had this salad with several guests and it’s received rave reviews. Who knew that eating raw kale could taste so good?

Check out your local markets for some greens! (See below for tips on buying the kale for this salad.)

Some other recipes with kale:

Spicy Kale Lasagna
Kale and Artichoke Frittata
Mashed Potatoes with Kale and Garlic
Garlic and Kale Soup – one of our favorites
Kale, Sweet Potato, and Chickpea Stew – a close second

Tuscan Raw Kale Salad
Inspired by 101 Cookbooks

Notes: For the kale, look for either younger kale (available at most farmers markets) or broad leaf kale. We recommend not using curly kale here, since its spicy bitterness can be a bit overpowering. Give it a nibble before you buy to make sure it is not overly spicy.

For the dressing, Pecorino cheese and fresh lemon juice are best, but you can substitute Parmesan cheese and bottled lemon juice if necessary. We generally never dress all our salad greens at once since it ruins any next-day leftovers, but kale is one case where you can!  Since kale is so sturdy, the dressed greens were great even on the second day.

What You Need
2 large bunches of kale (see notes above – we used one bunch each of green and purple)
1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup Pecorino cheese (or substitute Parmesan)
Juice from one lemon (about 1/4 cup) or 3 tablespoons bottled juice (in a pinch – fresh is preferable!)
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Fresh ground pepper

What To Do

1  Wash and dry the kale. Remove and discard the tough parts of the stems, and chop them into bite-sized pieces.

2  Grind one clove garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a mortar and pestle until it becomes a paste (or mince it using a knife and flatten it into a paste using the blade). Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup Pecorino cheese, 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and fresh ground pepper, and mix to combine.

3  Toss the dressing with the kale leaves and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve topped with additional grated cheese. If desired, add homemade croutons.

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Comments 3

  1. Valeria

    No way, I’m going to post a similar recipe soon, too! I can see some similar vibes here, eheh! :) I had a Tuscan kale day yesterday, cooking different recipes with cavolo nero, and loved it and its versatility in the kitchen!

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