A Different Kind of Garden Salad


Because winter greens are growing in abundance, now is the time to try a different kind of garden salad.  Everyone is familiar with the standard iceberg, romaine, spinach and mixed green salads but have you ever tried a kale salad?  Most people think of kale as an ingredient in soup or in a frittata but kale can be the main ingredient in a very delicious winter salad.  Kale is a tougher green than any of the standard salad greens so massaging the leaves with lemon juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt will soften them nicely while still leaving a very satisfying crunch.  Unlike most salads, this will keep in the refrigerator without becoming a soggy mess.

A Different Kind of Garden Salad


  • 1 bunch kale, stalks removed and discarded, leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced (or lime or sour orange)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • pinch of kosher salt (kale oversalts very quickly so be careful here)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 fresh fruit of your choice, diced small (about 1 cup) (mango, peach, pear, mandarin oranges, apples, strawberries or whatever fruit is in season)
  • Small handful toasted nuts (chopped if large), about 1/4 cup (walnuts, sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pine nuts)


  • In large serving bowl, add the kale, half of lemon juice, a drizzle of oil and a little kosher salt. Massage with your hands until the kale starts to soften and wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside while you make the dressing.
  • In a small bowl, whisk remaining lemon juice with the honey and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Stream in the 1/4 cup of oil while whisking until a dressing forms, and you like how it tastes.
  • Pour the dressing over the kale, and add the diced fruit and toasted nuts. Toss and serve.
  • Options:
    Shaved Parmesan, crumbled Feta or crumbled Blue Cheese can be sprinkled over this salad to add a delicious protein boost.
    If you like a more traditional salad configuration, try mixing the kale with chopped tomato and cucumber or whatever you like in your regular salads.
    If you don't want to make your own dressing, you can use a couple teaspoons of your favorite bottled dressing to massage the kale and then add more dressing to taste.

This post is participating in Freaky Friday, Simple Lives Thursday, Tuesday’s Tasty Tidbits, Whole Foods Wednesday Recipe Swap, Summer Salad Sundays and Friday Food Flicks.

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  1. Hi Jen, It’s Jen from Real Food Freaks! :) Thanks for submitting to RFF’s Freaky Friday. Out blog carnival usually goes up late Thursday evening and we get the most hits between Friday and Saturday. We have the entry period for a week but we may start to shorten that as many entries later in the week often don’t get that many hits. I do add your entry to Pinterest and StumbleUpon so hopefully you will get some hits there as well! We’d love to see you again next week. Thanks so much for your yummy post! I love salads all year long!

  2. Great recipe!

  3. Jen,

    This is a great idea. I shared it on Facebook and I am featuring it tonight on Friday Food Flicks. Thanks for the inspiration!


  4. Pingback: Friday Food Flicks — A Food-Inspired Photo Link-Up for 3/9/12 | Traditional Foods

  5. I am in love with kale. I grow two types that have self sowed for years now. Red Winter and Winterbor. Lately I’ve been enjoying the Red winter, dandelion greens and feta cheese for my salad.

    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  6. I always love a kale salad, and the fruit, cheese and nuts sound so good! Thanks for sharing this with Summer Salad Sundays, look forward to seeing you again soon!

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