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Warm Kale Salad is a tangy, sweet, savory, and satisfying meal for any time of year. Tender, salt rubbed kale is tossed in a warm and garlicky dressing studded with plump, sweet golden raisins and crunchy almonds. And thinly shaved parmesan cheese rounds out all of the flavors.
Ingredient mysteries are part of the fun of co-posting with a friend from another country. Earlier this year Giovanna asked, "What is whole wheat flour?" We discovered that in Italy it's called 'farina integrale'. And believe me, when we were in Italy, we spent plenty of time in confusion - especially at the grocery store. One of my favorite posts from the trip tells, err shows, all about it.
Giovanna (who shared her fantastic ragu sauce recipe with me) and I agreed that we should choose an ingredient and offer our own take on it, so I suggested lacinato kale. Here was her response:
It is a beautiful idea, I love lacinato kale! I thought it was typical from Tuscany and not well known outside this region .... When I read "lacinato kale" I had to see a dictionary - I discovered a new word! Wow ... We call it cavolo nero!
What is Lacinato Kale?
It turns out that this kale answers to many names. Check out this list from Wikipedia: lacinato kale, Tuscan kale, Tuscan cabbage, Italian kale, Dinosaur kale, cavolo nero, black kale, flat back cabbage, palm tree kale, or black Tuscan palm. This green wonder is not just diverse in name; it's utterly delicious and endlessly versatile. Giovanna decided to share her recipe for Kale Bruschetta (Yum! Can't wait to try it.) And I chose a Warm Kale Salad.
Oh heavenly warm salad! I made it last night and am already making it again tonight.
I have to thank Kathryn of CookieAndKate for a technique that is KEY to the flavor of this kale salad recipe - a salt massage. The other keys: leave the stems, slice in the thinnest ribbons you can (chiffonade if you're fancy :), a warm tangy, savory, sweet vinaigrette - reminiscent of the warm bacon vinaigrette that you often see on a spinach salad.
I realize that many recipes involving kale advise to remove and discard the stems. Perhaps this is a case of cutting the ends off of the roast? I love the stems; they add crunch and depth of flavor (so good in Kale Caesar Salad). Remove them if you must, but please try the recipe once with them intact. I predict you'll be converted.
Even though I've offered amounts for the warm vinaigrette, it's a to-taste kind of recipe. Adjust any of the elements to suit your taste. The combination of raisins and garlic may seem odd, but just wait until you taste it! Divine.
Warm Kale Salad with Almonds and Golden Raisins
For the Salad
- 1 bunch lacinato kale sliced into very thin ribbons
- fine sea salt
For the Warm Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
- ⅓ cup golden raisins
- juice and zest of half a lemon
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Top
- ⅓ cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds
- several shavings of good quality Parmesan cheese
- Place kale ribbons into a serving bowl. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of fine sea salt. Massage salt into kale by squeezing it in fistfuls and then rubbing it between your fingers, until it turns a darker shade of green and has a softer texture - just a minute or two. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and garlic. Cook and stir until garlic and fragrant and softened, but not browned. Adjust the heat as necessary.
- Add golden raisins to garlic in skillet; cook and stir until raisins have plumped and softened, about 15 seconds. Add lemon juice and zest, stir to combine.
- Remove from heat; add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
- Drizzle warm vinaigrette evenly over kale; toss to coat.
- Sprinkle salad with toasted almonds and Parmesan cheese shavings. Serve.
I have made this several times!! It is Great
Marissa Stevens says
I'm so glad you're enjoying the recipe, Barbara! Thank you for coming back to let me know!
I made this last night and it's absolutely delicious. The recipe is quick and easy and super flavorful.
I'm so glad you enjoyed it, Kita! Thank you for coming back to let me know!
Michelle @ Sunkissed Kitchen says
I have all the ingredients for this salad -- and I am definitely making it tonight! We've been eating leftovers 3 times a day and it's time to move on!
haha, I hear you, Michelle! We've been eating leftovers for days!! I need to make this salad too! 😉
I really liked this salad. The only things I would change are to eliminate the lemon, replacing it with a little vinegar, and to reduce the oil. I love lemon, but for some reason it didn’t work for me in this dish. My whole family enjoyed it, including my six year-old. It went really well with roasted seeet potatoes, and I even mixed mine in together at the end: Thank you!
Glad you and your family enjoyed the salad and made it your own, Meggo! Thanks for coming back to let me know. 🙂
Sydney Dunning says
This looks delicious, but I only have dried cranberries - do you think that would be good instead of the golden raisins? I think the lemon would be fine, but not sure about the garlic...
Hi Sydney, hmmm....good question. I haven't tried it with cranberries, but I think that would work. And, as you said, maybe skip the garlic.
Marissa...I eat kale often, but this has become one of my favorites. It's quick and easy to make...a must...and I love it. I found the recipe a week ago and I made it twice since then. Thank you!
Wow! Thank you so much, Patricia. So sweet of you to let me know...
I don't even remember how I came across this recipe but it is divine, and have forwarded the link to the recipe to friends many times. I have made this salad at least ten times in the last year, including for Thanksgiving dinner and for my 9-yr-old's birthday dinner (at his request). We had it again last night and he asked to eat the leftovers after finishing his breakfast cereal this morning. Thank you!
Wow! You made my day...such a sweet comment. Thank you.
Karen Belknap says
I love this salad! I've made it several times : ) - Karen in Arizona
I love to hear that, Karen! Thank you...
I know this is an old recipe, but I was searching for novel ideas on what to do with the two bunches of kale in my fridge, and this is it! I don't have golden raisins, so I hope it works just as well with sultanas?
Anyway, I'll give it a whirl and see how it turns out.
The sultanas will be perfect! Let me know how it goes...
I made this salad last night, except using spinach (regular, not baby, since it is a bit tougher like kale) because there is no kale to be found where I currently live (Chile)! The flavors were amazing and made the tough spinach easier and much more pleasant to eat. I topped it with a hard boiled egg for a little extra protein. First time making a warm vinaigrette and now I don't think I'll ever go back! Thanks for the inspiration!
I love the addition of hard boiled eggs - yum!
What a great recipe!! Thanks so much for sharing, I'm definitely making this one again. Absolutely delicious!
I'm so glad you liked it Cristel! 🙂
Heavenly! I made this last night after coming home from the farmers' market with several bunches of kale, and this is one amazing salad! My husband and I were oohing and aahing while eating every last bit of it, and I can't wait to make it again. The 'salt massage' technique is really genius — the kale developed the most amazing fragrance while I rubbed it, which really set the salad apart from other kale salad recipes I've tried. I used walnuts instead of almonds, and orange and a splash of vinegar instead of lemon, since that's what I had on hand, and it worked beautifully. Thank you for sharing this recipe, it'll go into heavy rotation over here!!
I'm so glad you liked it! Walnut/orange/vinegar variation sounds terrific.
Just found this salad on tastespotting. it was so good! I added some dijon mustard to the sauce as well as a splash of sherry and blended it. I know kale is good for me so I eat it, but this actually made me love it. Massaging the kale really is key! Thanks!
I'm so glad you liked it! Your mustard and sherry additions sound great...
It looks like you might have mustard in your vinaigrette. Did you add some?
It does look like mustard in the pan, doesn't it? No, no mustard. That's the emulsion of olive oil and lemon juice. With that said, I think a little mustard in the dressing would be good!
Sunday i will have friends for lunch and i'll prepare both kale salad and kale crostini ... i look forward to taste them !!!
I wish I could fly to Italy to join you!
Sandra (@SECooking) says
Fantastic salad. We love kale, and this sound so perfect for lazy days. Beautiful colors too. Thank you for sharing...will pin it!
I just made this salad and added some tofu i sauteed with sesame oil to turn it into a complete meal, and i am in love!! It was soo satisfying! Thanks for the recipe!
MMM that sounds so good. I'm really glad you liked it!
Whatever you want to call it, I love kale! Glad you picked up that massaging trick. It really is the key! This salad looks fabulous, love the dressing idea.
I'm so glad you gave that tip, Kathryne. Changed kale salad for me forever...
Paula @ Vintage Kitchen says
I can´t believe I never had kale! It´s not something to find in your regular supermarket, but there are places that sell it, so I must remember to buy it. I´m so intrigued about it. This salad sounds heavenly, sweet, tangy and crunchy. Wonderful Marissa!
What?! No kale. You'll love it...
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
That looks divine! And hehe we call it Tuscan Kale or Cavalo Nero 😛 Isn't it funny how all of these names change? Same with fish names-they've renamed all these fish types here!
It is funny - I wonder who decides about the names? The proverbial 'they' I suppose. 🙂