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This Kale Salad with Tomatoes Bacon and Preserved Lemon Dressing has a little secret. It tastes EXACTLY like a BLT sandwich. If you’re trying to cut down on calories or are looking for a gluten free BLT sandwich option, you’ve got to try this!

This Kale Salad with Tomatoes Bacon and Preserved Lemon Dressing has a little secret. It tastes EXACTLY like a BLT sandwich. If you're trying to cut down on calories or are looking for a gluten free BLT sandwich option, you've got to try this!

“This kale salad tastes like a BLT,” said Keith. I hadn’t mentioned that the title of the recipe from Bon Appétit magazine was, in fact, Kale BLT Salad.

When I look at the ingredient list, I’m not sure why it tastes like a BLT, but indeed it does. And technically it is a BLT salad: Bacon, Lacinato Kale and Tomato.

It was one of those recipes where readers write in to tell of some glorious dish they’ve had at a restaurant to ask if Bon Appétit can persuade the restaurant to share the recipe. They’re often gems and this is no exception.

What really drew me to try this was the creamy, preserved lemon dressing. About a month prior, I had made my first batch of preserved lemons with a dead simple recipe that I found in an NPR article. You cut 4 lemons (I used Meyer lemons) into quarters from the top almost to the bottom, leaving the end intact.

Then you fill each with a tablespoon of sea salt (I used my favorite Real Salt which isn’t very processed and has loads of natural minerals.). You stuff these into a jar, cover them with fresh lemon juice squeezed from 4 more lemons and then you wait. And wait. For a month. But it’s so easy and their commercially preserved counterparts are expensive.

Cut Lemon with Salt

It must be the tangy, salty, sweet preserved lemon that gives this salad the BLT illusion – it’s the only thing I can think of in the recipe that’s unusual. And, I know this sounds crazy, but it kind of tastes like cheesecake. Which is why I can imagine using it in both savory and sweet dishes – it would be wonderful drizzled over fresh berries.

I modified the recipe, reducing the amount of dressing a bit and using apple cider vinegar because it’s what I had. Make this for the people in your life who love BLTs – I promise they won’t be disappointed. And if you love Caesar Salad, I highly recommend trying this Kale Caesar Salad or my Kale Apple Salad, is there anything kale can’t do?

Kale Salad with Tomatoes Bacon and Preserved Lemon Dressing

5 from 2 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Course: Salad
Calories: 492
Servings: 4 people
Use thick sliced bacon for this – you want it to have a solid presence in the salad. Adapted from this recipe in Bon Appétit magazine.


  • 1/2 preserved lemon coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 12 ounces thick sliced bacon cut crosswise into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 large bunch Lacinato kale sliced crosswise into thin ribbons
  • 2 ripe tomatoes cut into bite-sized wedges


  • Add preserved lemon, sour cream, mayonnaise, and vinegar to a blender pitcher and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill until ready to use.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat; add bacon and cook and stir until brown and crisp (or cooked through and only slightly crisp, as we like it.), 8–12 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain and cool slightly.
  • In a large serving bowl, toss kale ribbons with dressing until coated; let sit 5 minutes. Top with bacon and tomato wedges. Serve.


Calories: 492kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 69mg | Sodium: 668mg | Potassium: 356mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 917IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. Beeta @ Mon Petit Four says:

    YUMMY!! How is it that you can make me crave a salad so badly!? I know! You’re Marissa, that’s how! The chef extraordinaire! 😉 I love all your recipes, this one included!

    1. Marissa says:

      haha, you’re the sweetest, Beeta! 😉 xoxo

  2. Kevin | Keviniscooking says:

    5 stars
    Tricky you with that kale lingo! Ha!
    Things like this are perfect for that crazy mid week dining. I have preserved lemons on hand, too. Go figure, right? I make two different batches on occasion an done has ground fennel mixed in with the salt. Such a lovely flavor addition. Plus, this has bacon – how can one not love this!

    1. Marissa says:

      I knew that you would have preserved lemons on hand, Kevin. I thought of you when I was making them. 🙂 Yeah, love that ground fennel mixed in – I’ll try that next time.