This recipe holds a very special place in my heart and let me tell you why. I really wanted to expand my salad repertoire and because I had never used kale before, I wanted to start there. I googled a couple recipes and nothing really wowed me, but then I got the idea of mixing the elements of a couple different recipes that sounded good to me and seeing what would come out of that. I love very citrus-forward and garlic-y foods, so putting this together was kind of a no-brainer for me.
So, after experimenting a bit, I came up with this! I have made it for friends on several occasions and it’s been a hit every single time. I think what makes it so good is the simplicity of it and the use of bold flavors. This recipe makes enough for one entree sized salad, or two side salads. I actually have been wanting to put up this recipe for ages, but I kept putting it off because I didn’t know how to accurately measure out everything since this is so second hand to me at this point. So, this was my best attempt at creating an easy-to-follow recipe that you can make by yourself at home!
You start, of course, with some kale! I like to use the pre-cut bag of kale that you can find with the salad kits in the veggie isle. This is because 1) it’s already cut so it saves time and 2) I find bagged kale to be firmer than your regular bunch of kale. However, if you can’t find a bag of kale like this, a kale bunch will do just fine, just tear off bite-sized pieces and you are good to go!
Next, you want to drizzle over some extra virgin olive oil and massage away! Massaging kale is very important because it will soften it and make it much more pleasant to eat. Just go in with your hands and gently knead the kale leaves until the bunch has decreased in size and it is not as tough. Then, wash your hands.
Mince up a nice big garlic clove (or two small ones) to really amp up the flavor in this salad. I know not everyone loves garlic as much as I do, so adjust accordingly, but I really find that the fresh garlic gives this salad the punch it needs and it goes oh so well with kale. Add the minced garlic directly to the kale.
Get a large lemon and roll it on your counter with your hand to get it nice and juicy and then cut in half and squeeze over top of the kale. Half of a large lemon or one whole small lemon works nicely with this. I like to sometimes zest some of the lemon over top for some extra zing, but it’s not necessary.
Mix in your shaved parmesan, garlic powder, salt and pepper and toss until everything has been mixed together properly. I didn’t include exact measurements for the seasoning as that should be to taste, but I like to just liberally coat the top of the bed of kale once over with all 3 seasonings and I find that that is the perfect amount.
Lastly, you want to toast up some pine nuts! Pine nuts add this beautiful nutty flavor to the salad so I really wouldn’t skip this step. Just toast over medium heat in a small pan (no oil necessary) until the pine nuts start to get a nice golden brown color to them and then just add them on top of the salad. This should only take a minute or two. Make sure you shake up the pan every now and then to evenly toast them because they burn easily (speaking from experience!)
And, that’s it 🙂 Grab a glass of wine and turn on some Netflix and you have dinner that took you 15-20 mins to prepare, if even! My favorite part of this salad is that the dressing can be made right over top in the same bowl and it’s a very dump-and-mix type recipe. Please let me know if you ever make this at home and tell me how it turned out!
-5.5 cups of kale, bite sized
-1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
-1/2 large lemon or 1 whole small lemon
-1 large garlic clove or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
-1/4 cup shaved parmesan
-2 tablespoons pine nuts
-salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste