This kale salad is one of the dishes I get the most requests for, and it’s also one of the simplest. The hearty kale, balanced by the acidity of the lemon with a zip from the chili flakes and a nice crunch from the breadcrumbs, is addicting and it’s probably my favorite way to enjoy this dark, leafy green.
I have a friend who wouldn’t touch kale for years because the only way he had experienced it was as a green buffet garnish covered in spilled food (sound appetizing?). Well, kale is so much more than that! It is a member of the brassica family, cousins to broccoli and cabbage, rather than romaine or other salad greens. Kale is a powerhouse of nutrients, fulfilling your daily requirements of vitamins A, K, and C in just one serving! It is particularly high in vitamin K (over 1,000% of our daily value in 1 cup), which is key in helping regulate our body’s inflammatory responses. It also boasts over 45 different flavonoids, making kale a front-runner against inflammation and oxidative stress, which can help lower your risk of cancer. Go Kale!
The Best Kale Salad
adapted from 101 Cookbooks
1 bunch lacinato (or tuscan or dino) kale
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt
1 large lemon (or 1 1/2 small lemons), juiced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
cracked black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup breadcrumbs (I used gluten-free panko, but I have also made my own breadcrumbs with sprouted bread)
De-stem the kale (here is a quick how-to) and slice into ribbons. Place into a large bowl. Using a knife or mortar and pestle, mash the minced garlic and salt together into a paste. Place into a jar, along with juiced lemon, olive oil, nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes, and crushed black pepper. Place a lid on the jar and shake vigorously until emulsified. Pour dressing over kale and massage the kale well, getting into all of the nooks and crannies (this really helps break down the tough, and sometimes bitter leaves). Refrigerate and let the flavors meld for 30 minutes-1 hour. Add breadcrumbs, toss well, and serve.
Disclaimer: The material on this blog is based on my own education, research, and personal experience and is not intended as medical or nutritional advice. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own further research.