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don’t be turning your nose up so quick…kale salad

KaleSalad-1

Kale is a Super-hero among vegetables, a phyto-chemical-antioxidant-rich green dragon, repairing DNA damage to cells, boosting immune systems, helping prevent macular degeneration, and even blocking the growth of cancer cells. It does all this weighing in at a measly 35 calories per raw cup!  Kale is a super-hero you’ll want to befriend.

Is all that enough reason to pal around with a vegetable hero that tastes nasty? No, not in my book. I could rave about this kale salad but I’m going to quietly step aside and let Dr. Andrew Weil do the talking. He and chef Sam Fox opened True Food Kitchen in Phoenix, Arizona, and that restaurant has since blossomed into five others across the country. (Their mission: to serve food that promotes the diner’s well-being while being uncompromisingly delicious.) This is their Signature dish. (shocking, no?) This is the dish on their menu, year-round, that nearly everyone asks for. This is the dish that so many people enjoyed and went on to duplicate in their own kitchens that farmers all across the Phoenix area started pulling out other crops and planting instead, Tuscan kale. (It goes by other names too: Lacinato, cavolo nero, Russian kale or dinosaur kale.)

KaleSalad-5

Here’s a story Dr. Weil tells:

Not long ago, a mother with a son and a daughter about seven and five came up to me in the Phoenix restaurant. ‘Tell Dr. Weil what your favorite thing to eat here is,’ she said to the girl, who was too shy to answer. Her brother spoke for her, ‘Kale salad! Kale salad!’ he said with great enthusiasm. {That made Andrew Weil very happy.} If folks in Arizona, which is hardly a bastion of veg-heads, can learn to love raw kale, it is only a matter of time before true love for it blooms across the land!

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This is one of those rare salads that gets better as it sits, better the next day than it was the day before. Any bitterness present in the kale is softened by the lemon and salt in the dressing. With a pinch of red chile flakes, a scattering of crunchy toasted bread crumbs and shavings of Pecorino Romano, this is a salad you are almost 100% guaranteed to love, and I mean love.

You can assemble this salad in minutes and enjoy it for two days. He says it serves 8…I say 4.  (Perhaps because it’s possibly twice as good as he says.)

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Kale Salad

Extra-virgin Olive Oil - ½ cup

Freshly-squeezed lemon juice -  ¼ cup

Garlic - 3 cloves mashed – 2 may be enough for you

salt - ½ teaspoon

Kale - 2 bunches – about 14 ounces, 400g.

Grano Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese – ½ cup finely grated

Toasted Whole-wheat Bread Crumbs – 2 Tablespoons (or perhaps a bit more)

Grano Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese shavings – for garnish

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A NOTE on the quantities – I find that the amount of dressing is more than sufficient to dress these leaves. I hold about ¼ of it back and drizzle on steamed vegetables. But make the entire amount…it may be different for you.

KaleSalad-8

Remove the ribs from the washed and patted dry kale. Slice into ¼-inch shreds.

In a large salad bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes. Add the kale and toss well to coat. Allow the salad to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes if you can, but at least 10. Add the grated cheese and the bread crumbs and toss again. (My preference is to have made more toasted bread crumbs so that I can scatter their crunch just before serving.)

Garnish with the cheese shavings before serving. (My preference, the Pecorino-Romano here.) Cover any leftovers (good luck with that) and refrigerate for up to 2 days.

{print the recipe }

(And just so you know – the salad in the large salad bowl was created half an hour before its picture was taken. The salad in the smaller bowl is a day old and  hasn’t lost its rugged good looks, nor is it in any way limp or soggy.)

_____

Recipe from True Food – Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure by Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. & Sam Fox

65 Comments Post a comment
  1. Oh my pass the plate, but make sure it’s full. I’m saving this one for when I get home, and hopefully I’ll still have some Kale on the plot.
    But being cheeky, if it’s a superhero, does that mean it wears it’s pants on the outside? told you I was being cheeky :)

    February 27, 2013
    • I love you cheeky! :) My experience with this salad (in and of itself) has taught me I need a kale patch of my own! Hope you find some when you get home Claire!

      February 28, 2013
  2. I would have never thought I would be saying this but.. This looks great and very tasty! Good job 😊

    February 27, 2013
    • You know? Not long ago, I’d have said the same thing… I never expected I’d be pushing raw kale! But here I am. ;)

      February 28, 2013
      • Haha well you’ve defiantly done a good job pushing it 😊

        February 28, 2013
  3. I feel healthier already, just reading this recipe. I will prepare it instantly!!!
    Maybe plant kale seeds his spring…

    February 27, 2013
    • I’m absolutely with you Ronnie…whatever else I plant this year, kale seeds will be the first I buy! (Let me know what you think of the salad, will you? We are Crazy for it!!)

      February 28, 2013
  4. james callas #

    My company blocked my ability to comment on the kale salad, but I love kale and this looks like a fantastic recipe!

    On Wed, Feb 27, 2013 at 9:30 AM, cooking-spree

    February 27, 2013
    • You must try, Jim!! :)

      February 28, 2013
  5. Delicious salad! Love your photography and your classy food styling!

    February 27, 2013
    • Ambrosiana, it IS a delicious salad, but you just made my day with your comment! I so appreciate it!

      February 28, 2013
  6. I adore kale but rarely eat it raw. Am going to give this a go!

    February 27, 2013
    • I’ve never cared much for it in raw form, Tanya…but this recipe’s turned me completely around.

      February 28, 2013
  7. Cynthia #

    I grew up eating kale but I’ve never seen a recipe like this before. May try this tonight. ;)

    February 27, 2013
    • Lucky you! I didn’t meet kale until well into my middle-aged years. I so wish we’d met earlier! (Thanks for the comment Cynthia!) :)

      February 28, 2013
  8. Oh lord that looks good – green is such a photogenic colour too, especially the deep colour kale is.

    February 27, 2013
    • I agree Nick…so photogenic, one of the super-models of the vegetable kingdom. (Super-hero AND super-model? How many vegetables can lay claim to that?)

      February 28, 2013
  9. Sounds fabulous! I will try this for sure. Might substitute toasted pine nuts for the bread crumbs, because I am fond of them and think their unique combination of delicacy and a hint of resinous character would be a grand addition to kale salad. But no matter, this is an entirely alluring recipe! Thanks for reminding me to pick up some kale. :D
    xoxo

    February 27, 2013
    • I like your idea Kathryn of the pine nuts. (You stay away from gluten, right?) The nuts would make a lovely addition…hint of resinous character. :) Like that! When I hit the produce aisle these days, Kale is my first stop! I’m a bit too shy to say how many times we’ve eaten this salad over the past couple months! :) xxoo

      February 28, 2013
  10. This is a Grrrrrreat salad & rodent rhaposdy! Nice pix Spree!

    February 27, 2013
    • Why thank you rodent! I always love when you pop your head up here!

      February 28, 2013
  11. Ooohhh, raw kale. This would be a nearly new thing for me. Yours is so beautiful! And I love knowing it can keep so long. That is indeed rare for a salad. (And those shades of green and brown in your dishes and accessories….adding to the yummy!)

    February 27, 2013
    • I’m telling you Ashley, you will NOT believe how delicious this salad is ’til it’s touched your lips! Do Not Delay! :) xxoo

      February 28, 2013
  12. deb #

    We have grown accustomed to kale in our morning smoothies, but to actually taste it prepared like this . . . can’t wait! Absolutely delicious sounding salad. Looks quite lovely too :-) Appreciated the Dr. Weil story.

    February 27, 2013
    • With the delicious tang and aroma of lemon through this salad, Deb, I know you’ll love it! Do try it! :)

      February 28, 2013
  13. I bought that cookbook, but haven’t made anything from it yet. (It’s currently serving as a doorstop. That isn’t necessarily an insult here. Just means it was the closest book available when the cats started pushing the bedroom door shut as they are wont to do.) I remember thinking that recipe looked great, though I’m quite certain that your bottom photo is prettier than anything in the volume!

    February 27, 2013
    • Funny, Michelle! :) This was one of the first recipes I’ve tried in the book, but so far everything has been absolutely wonderful! (There’s a black cod recipe in there, a bit involved, but positively exquisite and worth every minute required to prepare it!) And for the compliment, thank you so very much!!

      February 28, 2013
  14. It seems like quite a few have jumped on the kale salad wagon, Spree, and each sounds and looks delicious, just as your does. The problem is that I’ve yet to find any kind but the regular old kale. I need to redouble my efforts! You know what? I’ll just take out a loan on my 401k and head to Whole Foods. They’re sure to have some and I probably won’t live too long anyway. :)
    Seriously, Spree, this does sound like a great recipe and I do look forward to giving it a try. Your photos are, once again, very well shot and perfect for the post.

    February 27, 2013
    • John, I predict you won’t regret going into your retirement account to buy lacinato kale! It’s incredible…I prefer the texture and color to other sorts, by a lot. And (seriously!) it may not be available everywhere, but it’s NOT going to thin your wallet any! :) Head to Whole Foods, post haste! (and thanks John for the compliment!)

      February 28, 2013
  15. I love kale and this looks like a wonderful way to enjoy it in a salad. Simple, clean flavors to enhance the kale. I may have to try this, it looks so good and good for you!

    February 27, 2013
    • If a little bit of good cheese can have us eating kale by the boatloads, what’s a little cheese going to hurt? You’re right Betsy – simple, clean flavors! This salad packs such a healthful delicious punch!

      February 28, 2013
  16. It’s hard to find kale here in France. We have bundles of “blette”( Swiss Chard) everywhere, but it doesn’t work as a substitute.Very frustrating as I love this dish.

    February 28, 2013
    • Roger, that is Truly a shame!! Could you grow it, do you suppose? I hear it’s incredibly hearty and grows nearly everywhere…even in the dessert climate of Phoenix, and into the snowy north.

      February 28, 2013
  17. DH and I just discovered Kale recently. In fact last night’s supper was roasted Turkey breast and Sweet Potato with a huge serving of sautéed Black Kale and garlic. We always thought that Kale would be too bitter, now having had it cooked, we’ll need to graduate to raw in a salad. So many mahalos (thanks), now maybe since you saved so many calories, let’s have dessert… ^-^

    http://mykitcheninthemiddleofthedesert.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/pie/

    ALOHA!

    February 28, 2013
  18. I adore kale and cannot wait to grow it again.. this certainly is a gorgeous salad, i love anything that is better tomorrow, i am a big morning eater! Have a lovely evening honey.. c

    February 28, 2013
    • Celi, I’ve decided to plant a good patch of this kale myself…if I grow nothing but this and tomatoes and herbs I’ll be quite content. Though who knows, I may grow more ambitious this year, and I’d be more content still if that happened!(Do you plant seeds directly into the ground or give them some time indoors before transferring?) Have yourself(ves) a wonderful weekend!

      March 1, 2013
  19. Spree! This salad is after my heart….I swear there is someone in Vancouver making a version of this – YUM! I adore the addition of cheese and breadcrumbs – sounds insanely good! I’m making this one for sure for my next dinner party :) Delicious.

    March 1, 2013
    • Hi Shira! Insanely good it is…it will drive you wild! YES, this is absolutely a salad after your heart (and mine!) xo

      March 1, 2013
  20. Spree, I made this salad this morning and I can’t imagine it being better tomorrow than it is today; It tastes great and even smells wonderful.

    March 1, 2013
    • Well Ronnie, it only gets better if you like a slightly softer kale experience…the kale will sop up a bit of the dressing and the overall effect is just a bit mellower. But I eat this salad 30 minutes after preparing AND again the next day! SO glad you enjoyed!! I thought you might. :)

      March 1, 2013
  21. Do you suppose if I’d had some of this amazing salad last week i’d be lying on my couch fighting a cold right now? It looks so delicious and I can only imagine how good it is for me.

    March 1, 2013
    • No I absolutely do not! I have to apologize that I didn’t get it to you in time! So wishing you a speedy end to this cold business Mar!

      March 1, 2013
  22. This salad looks fabulous! I have dinosaur kale in refrigerator right now that I was planning to use for another dish, but now I’m completely re-thinking the menu so I can make this… Either way, I think this will show up at my dinner very very soon. Thank you for the recipe!

    March 3, 2013
  23. That looks exactly like what I feel like eating… I’m gonna go and get some kale tomorrow!

    March 5, 2013
    • Then that is a Very Good Idea…and you are sure to like this very much! So happy to share it with you. :)

      March 5, 2013
  24. Now my family is already sold on Kale, particularly my daughter who is now the Kale Queen in our family because she likes making salads with it. We have a hard time finding fresh kale, perhaps it’s being snatched up before we get to the shops in time? It’s certainly a food that is trending, isn’t it? My girlfriend has a kale salad recipe she wants to share with me and now I will have one to share with her.. I think the best part is that you can keep this salad for a few days. No more wasting salad that doesn’t get eaten right away! I love the ingredients in the dressing as well! One day, I’ll have to search out that restaurant and have dinner there! Maybe with spree?? xx

    March 5, 2013
    • You know, I heard from our green grocer the other day that when Lacinato kale hits the bins, it’s no sooner traveling down the aisle in someone’s cart. They can barely keep up with the demand. It’s almost attained “cult status”! May be the same for you there? I love that this salad keeps (and I mean for daysS!) Do give it a try…it’s a Winner!! And if I could meet you for lunch/dinner/happy hour/breakfast at The Food Kitchen (or virtually anywhere else) it would be a joyride of a time!! And I’d Jump to do it! xx

      March 6, 2013
      • Me too! Yes! I’m pretty sure Kale is the newest Super Food and I can see why just looking at your salad! xx

        March 6, 2013
        • :) Looking at it only scratches the surface…go the next step! :D xx

          March 6, 2013
  25. I too am really sold on Kale as it is very much part of my diet at home but I have to say my lionhead rabbit enjoys it raw. Thanks for sharing a great idea and the photographs are superb Antoinette….I am off to stock up at the local greengrocer

    March 6, 2013
    • Well you know now don’t you James that as soon as I finish here I’m going to find some photos of a Lionhead Rabbit! I can barely wait…my imagination is conjuring pictures and I’m anxious to see how true they are! :) If kale is on your list, DO make this salad! It’s Really wonderful! (And thank you James for the nice compliment! I so appreciate!)

      March 6, 2013
  26. Not a bigger fan of kale – but looking at your stunning photos – maybe I should give it a go … fantastic photos and easy recipe … just up my path.

    March 7, 2013
    • Viveka – This salad is beyond scrumptious! (And kale is such a powerhouse of nutrition!) I would be so shocked if you (an avowed kale disaffectionate) ;) didn’t like it, a lot!

      March 25, 2013
      • I love cabbage … but kale – maybe I should give it a go .. because you give it a such a … good read.

        March 26, 2013
        • Viveka – (not meaning to be “bossy” but…) try this! You will become a kale-affectionado with one bite! :)

          March 27, 2013
          • You’re not at all … bossy – I will give it ago, the problem is that the heads are so big .. going to have kale forever. *smile
            I have baked zucchini bread today again, every Wednesday. The best bread in the world.

            March 27, 2013
  27. I have been enjoying the kale in several dishes but haven’t made salad as of yet. I’m sure it is delicious.

    March 8, 2013
  28. I would honestly never stick my nose up at kale. It’s pretty much my favorite. Am I a total nerd? Really though- you can cook it, eat it raw, juice it- breakfast lunch and dinner- snack on kale chips? And it over winters. My neighbor has enough kale for the entire hood.
    I just had a similar salad to yours in New York with the addition of pecans and dried cherries. Maybe try that sometime- it was SO good.
    Cheers xx

    March 24, 2013
    • Kale’s my new best friend Wendy…talk about nerd! ;) And yesterday, after finishing up with an organic soil-building class, I bought the seeds to plant a half acre of the stuff. (I exaggerate…by nearly a half acre, but you get my point.) Pecans and cherries! I can see that!! and I WILL try! Happy Sunday in Spring to you! xo

      March 24, 2013
      • And pecorino was the cheese. Enjoy your kale. I’ve got some dwarf siberian and the red kale going but want to pick up some seed for the lacinato. Will put it on my list.

        March 24, 2013
  29. settleandchase #

    I just love Kale, but never thought at all to eat it raw – this looks delicious! I can imagine it’s lots better with home grown, some of our bought Kale here seems quite tough..

    March 25, 2013
    • I’d have to agree…when wouldn’t homegrown be best? (I just bought a packet of seeds and can hardly WAIT!) BUT, since this kale first has its tough stalks removed, and is then practically shredded, and then allowed to soak and soften in the dressing, even grocery-bought kale would probably pass the muster.

      March 25, 2013
  30. Reblogged this on Lisa B. DuBois – Writer and commented:
    Wait! I as a new Raw Food foodie can absolutely attest to the fabulosity of Kale Salad! I was shocked and happily amazed when I tried some last week. But beyond that…(corny drumroll here) my 6 year old daughter liked it too!!!! (Wait, nobody move! the kid might notice our parental glee and change her fickle mind. But yes folks, it’s true, KALE SALAD ROCKS BIG TIME!!

    April 24, 2013

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