Raw Kale Salad

Despite the drought, my garden is flourishing (thanks to my drip irrigation and marsh hay mulch). I WAYover-planted summer squash (more on that later), and I have an abundance of kale.

I typically blanch and freeze kale for winter soups and stir fries, but I’ve been eating plenty of it in salads this summer.

The trick is to make a great vinaigrette and dress the salad a few hours before enjoying. It makes raw kale perfectly edible, if not delicious. If you have access to garden kale, the newly grown middle leaves are the tenderest, but with a few hours of salad dressing marination, even tougher grocery store leaves are rendered yummy.

For more info about kale and this salad, see my column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Kale Salad with Honey Cumin Vinaigrette
Makes one main meal salad or two side salads, with leftover vinaigrette

For the salad:
1 small bunch curly kale, ribs removed and torn into small pieces
1 small zucchini, sliced thinly into quarters
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup sunflower seeds
Pinch of sea salt

For the vinaigrette:
Makes just under one cup
½ cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Juice from one lime
2 tablespoons honey
1 clove of garlic, finely grated
½ jalapeno, finely grated
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon ground cumin

In a medium bowl, layer kale, zucchini, cherry tomatoes and sunflower seeds. Toss with a pinch of salt.

In a pint-sized mason jar, mix olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, honey, garlic, jalapeno, mustard and cumin. Screw on lid tightly and shake well. Alternatively whisk oil and vinegar together until emulsified in a small bowl. Whisk in remaining ingredients.

Add a generous amount of vinaigrette to the kale, a bit more than you would for a leaf lettuce salad. Toss with your hands, making sure each leaf is coated with dressing.

Cover and store in fridge for four to fifteen hours. Toss again just before eating.


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  1. From Monday Musings: 08.13.2012 Edition « Dark Side of the Fridge on 13 Aug 2012 at 8:17 am

    […] not, right?  Also, since I’ve got plenty of kale from the garden (yay!), I’ll add a raw kale salad that just intrigues […]