Chopped Kale Salad

I don't like kale. I tried cooked kale, kale chips, and even some raw kale on a sandwich. I don't like it. A lot of friends have raved and raved about the kale salad served at Tavern and Kayne Prime and insisted that I would like it despite my hatred of kale, but I was dubious. Plus, there are so many other great vegetarian items on the menus at both restaurants (no, really), that I didn't feel compelled to try the kale salad.


But not long ago, I finally tried it. Wow. It was fantastic. As good as everyone said. I still can't even believe it. I love that kale salad. Like everyone else does. And, luckily, my friend, Morgan Levy of Nashvillest has a recipe to make it. She's forwarded it and forwarded it and I've forwarded it and forwarded and now I'm sharing it here. Even though most everyone already has it. D'oh.


Anyway, I will tell you a couple of things that aren't in the email. First, it's not exactly health food. Sure, kale's good for you, but I think it's really the parmesan that makes it tasty (and palatable to kale haters). Second, it's not exactly easy to make. I have a 10-cup Cuisinart and it took four or five (I lost count) different rounds in the food processor to run through that bunch of kale. To be fair, that might not have been so annoying except I made two batches at the same time. After washing and ribbing two bunches of kale and some ten times through the processor, I was really tired of that kale.


But then I tasted it. And it was worth it. So, try it.

Chopped Kale Salad
serves 2-6

1 large bunch kale, washed, de-stemmed, and chopped finely to tabbouleh texture 
the juice of 1 fresh squeezed lemon (about ⅛ cup)
⅛ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup finely grated parmesan (crumbles rather than strips)
½ cup golden raisins or currants
¼ cup pine nuts or slivered almonds
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
salt and black pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice and olive oil until it is emulsified. Drizzle over the washed and chopped kale. Toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle the grated parmesan over the kale and toss to coat evenly. Add in raisins/currants, nuts, and red pepper flakes if using. Toss to distribute throughout. Generously season with salt and pepper.

When I prepared the salad, I opted for storebought grated parmesan that I picked up at Lazzaroli. And I used golden raisins and pine nuts instead of currants and almonds. The result was delicious.


11 thoughts on “Chopped Kale Salad

  1. Like Amy, I haven't gotten my hands on this recipe yet. After seeing your pictures, I am actually *hoping* for kale in my next CSA box rather than dreading the sight of those green leaves coming up over the cardboard box!

    Thanks for sharing, Lesley!

  2. This is pretty funny. I just made this a couple of weeks ago, took pics, and wrote a post about it that hasn't gone live yet. My recipe is basically almost identical!

    SOOOOO good!

  3. Yay! Since you're on board with loving kale, you should definitely try out Rumba's kale next. Theirs is much healthier and still super delicious. It's simmered in lemon juice.

  4. i was lucky enough to receive Morgan's recipe by email, and actually made it as a side to take to 4th of July dinner at my mother-in-law's house. it was a hit, so much so that my MiL asked to keep the leftovers. i happily said yes, knowing i had kept some for myself at home. win-win.

    i also love a simple kale saute with cubed sweet potatoes, onions, garlic & olive oil. it's a hearty cold weather dish.

  5. christy

    I've been making a kale salad similar to this for a few years but one of the main differences is I add smashed up avacado to to the kale leaves and "massage" the kale leaves with the avacado. By doing this you break down the tough fibers in the kale and it doesn't taste so bitter. Instead of currants I add chopped tomatoes, green onions, olives & fresh garlic. I also add some cumin. So delicious! !

  6. Cynthia

    Thanks for posting. I love kale and can't wait to try this salad. Since I don't cook much I will probably wait and get it the next time I am in Nashville :-)

  7. Hedy

    Just made it and love it! Thanks for the recipe!!! I did not have raisins on hand so I put in some dry cherries and it is still delicious.

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