Lacinato Kale and Pecorino Salad

Lacinato Kale and Pecorino Salad Recipe

UPS sent two U-Haul trucks on Tuesday to pick up the last of the QK holiday orders. We pack each box with a lot of love, then send them off with a kiss, and I catch myself in a cycle of reloading the tracking dashboard to see how they are progressing across the country. Thankfully some quiet and calm has descended in the days since, and I've spent much of the extended holiday weekend tidying, both at home and the studio. Bills are getting paid, emails returned, articles are being read, and books have now been picked up where I abandoned them. And, I've had a few nice culinary stints in the kitchen. All of this means I'm going to close out 2014 with a hodge-podge of a post. A mix of links, and the most wintery of kale salads - a good one.

The salad is easy enough, without being obvious or predictable. It builds on a base of finely shredded lacinato kale to which and abundance of toasted pecans, pecorino cheese, and shredded Brussels sprouts are added. A strong lemon-tahini dressing is leveraged to brighten things up and take the raw edge off of the kale.

- New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2014

- David Hockney In the Now (in six minutes)

- Going to make some of this

- Taprobane

- Strategies for a Minimalst Wardrobe (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

- Soups

- Iran's Female Surf Pioneers (via Samin)

Lacinato Kale and Pecorino SaladLacinato Kale and Pecorino Salad

- More Kale Recipes -
- More Brussels Sprout Recipes -
- More Salad Recipes -

Lacinato Kale and Pecorino Salad

For the intended results, a few notes. I love pebbly-leafed, dark lacinato kale here. Shred it very finely and there is no need to de-stem each leaf (see photo). Also, you can toss the salad ahead of time, and pack it for lunch. On the olive front, Castelvetrano olives are my preference, but any meaty, good tasting green olives will do. Serve over quinoa, or other grain for a nice, substantial meal.

1 finely chopped shallot
scant 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons tahini
honey and salt to taste

1 bunch of lacinato kale, finely shredded
12 brussels sprouts, finely shredded
3 green onions, trimmed and finely sliced

1 cup toasted pecans, sliced
20 large green olives, pitted and sliced
2/3 cup shredded pecorino cheese

to serve: any herb flowers you might have (in this case I used coriander blossoms), optional, of course

Start by making the dressing. In a small bowl, combine the shallot with the lemon juice. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before whisking in the olive oil, tahini, honey, and salt.

Toss the kale, sprouts, and green onions with the dressing. Really mix it well, preferably with your hands, and then allow it to rest for ten minutes. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add the pecans, olives, and pecorino, and gently toss once more before serving topped with chopped herbs and/or herb blossoms.

Serves 4-6.

Prep time: 15 min

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looks like a great dish! i love the designer plates they look amazing too.

December 30, 2014

Your salads always has such a finesse about them, the colours the dressing, mmm! I hope you enjoy the rest of the year and have a fantastic beginning to a new one :) Looking forward to seeing what more delicious dishes you come up with :) x

December 30, 2014

ruby owings

fine cut, not shredded kale, pesto to flavor, chopped walnuts, asagio finely grated....flavor with lemon zest roasted red pepper and italian dsg to top...then deustche pumpernickel light leavened or best yet cook 1 cup of millett chill it then blend into salad or 1 cup basmati rice...chilled use a lot of kale and cut fine a sprig of rosemary

December 30, 2014

Beautiful salad, Heidi!

December 30, 2014

This salad looks delicious! Thank you so much for introducing me to Castelvetrano olives--after reading about them on your blog over the years, they have quickly become my favorite olive, and I've enjoyed them now in all kinds of ways--including using your gin-baked olives recipe.

December 30, 2014

We eat Lacinato Kale probably 5 times a week prepared the same way and I've been looking for a new recipe to mix it up! This looks so wonderful and the flavor combination sounds amazing. Can't wait to make this.

December 30, 2014


can you please comment on what you used to shred the kale so finely ? i have a food processor, wondering if that is what you used or if you have a hand shredder that works for that and brussel sprouts. thank you!

HS: Hi Eve, I just stack 3-4 leaves on top of each other, and slice through. So, no special tool - just a sharp knife makes quick work of it, especially because you don't really need to de-stalk.

December 30, 2014

Beautiful, Heidi. Happy New Year!!!!

December 30, 2014

Cindy F

I love your recipes but I'm vegan and would like to see good vegan substitutions if you can ?? Thank you

December 30, 2014

Yes! I love shredded raw Brussells sprouts. So much softer than I thought...

December 30, 2014

Thanks for posting the lovely "David Hockney in the Now" link and for the many great recipes every year.

December 30, 2014

Salads sounds so good right now after all these holiday meals! This is definitely going on the to-do list. Thank you!

December 30, 2014


Fantastic! This looks similar to a salad readily available (for a small fortune!) at Whole Foods. I can't wait to try it.

December 30, 2014


Hi Heidi, thank you for the recipe it looks delicious as usual! When you say a bunch of kale how much is it in weight or how many leaves as we grow our own.
Thank you for all the wonderful recipes you have shared the past year and I look forward to your posts in the New Year. Have a great 2015!

December 30, 2014

I love lemon and olive oil on a kale salad...I can't wait to try the tahini addition. Genius. This is going on the New Year's Eve menu...thanks!!

December 30, 2014

Kale salads are the best! I've been making a salad very similar to this almost weekly since early fall. It's nice because it keeps in the fridge a couple of days without losing its crunch. I love tossing some dried cranberries, dried cherries or even some diced Granny Smith apple in it as well. The bit of sweet adds a great note, and offsets the sharp of the cheese.

December 30, 2014

........Salads are my favourite especially when done in the most un-usual way,,,like yours,,I do add extra tit-bits which does not mar the flavours,,,,Happy New Year..................Querino de-Freitas

December 30, 2014

Your salad looks doubly delicious! I just love the bumpy dino kale and raw Brussels sprouts too, never put them together though, will definitely try and tahini dressing, extra yum! Thanks for all your wonderful posts and inspiration throughout and a Happy New Year to you and all your readers too!

December 30, 2014

Your wonderful recipe drove me out to the frosted allotment to pick kale - well worth the frozen fingers. We added pomegranate seeds for colour and texture.

A great salad for the post-Christmas detox!

December 30, 2014


How do i shred brussels sprouts?!

December 30, 2014

Such a beautiful salad and I love all the textures and simple flavors together!

December 30, 2014


Hi Heidi,
I love raw kale in salads and during winter, we make the raw brussels sprouts salad that you posted back in 2009 a lot. This salad looks a very happy combination of the two!
Happy new year.....

December 30, 2014


Would you please share where the plates are from?

HS: Hi Jodetha - the large one is a vintage find from a few years back, the other is a Colleen Hennessey bowl - we list her work on Quitokeeto every couple of months.

December 30, 2014


Bless your heart for posting the minimalist wardrobe link. Just what I needed. Love what you do and how you do it. Merry and bright 2015 to you and yours.

December 30, 2014

Wishing you a happy, balanced new year! Can't wait for more delicious recipes and thoughtful links from you in 2015.

December 31, 2014

Gorgeous combination of pecans, olives, and lemon-tahini dressing. I can taste this salad already and am eager to make it!!

December 31, 2014


I couldn't help it. I had to have this salad last night, and it did not disappoint! The only thing I skipped was the herb flowers. I'm looking forward to the leftovers at lunch, and might just have to make it again tonight to bring to a friend's house.

December 31, 2014

I was wondering how to use some leftover kale I have! this salad looks really beautiful and I'm curious to try tahini as I've never used it in a salad. makes sense though.... can't wait!

December 31, 2014

VIno Satchi

Thanks for the article 'Taprobane' I am from there! :)

December 31, 2014


Heidi, thank you for offering such delicious recipes week after week without fail. I just LOVE your blog and your food! Re: this salad, I am not sure you could put more of my favorite foods in one bowl -- yum! Happy New Year!

December 31, 2014

robin lewiS

gorgeous salad. i'm making it for the first time tonight. love love love the lemon tahini dressing. ...but a lot of work: slicing toasted pecans, finely chopping, slicing, shredding...definitely a labor of love! i hope our guests like it! p.s. what kind of knife does one use for thi nly slicing pecans? i didn't fair so well with a new very thin very sharp carving W√úSTHOF-TRIDENTmknife, but i thought it would work better than others b/c it's fairly thinner than any of my other knifes...dumb, i know. plus, i was trying to work quickly...

December 31, 2014

Mmm - this salad sounds like just the thing I need to start the new year! Hoping the calm stays with you for a bit longer and you enjoy the New Year!

December 31, 2014


Yum. I'm making this one today! Thanks, Heidi. Happy 2015!

January 1, 2015


Just made this salad! I dont like cooked brussels!! So had to try them in their raw state, and its over the top yummy. This will always be one of my favourites. Thankyou Heidi Swanson!! xo

January 1, 2015

Oh my goodness, Heidi. I just pulled all those links up and am now tearful after watching the David Hockney segment. That was so inspirational to me. I think it's his freedom; I don't have that (yet) and I long for it. Plus, his work is stunning. Thank you so much for sharing that. Happy New Year.

January 1, 2015


Happy New Year Heidi, and thanks for all your hard work! I'm sure you have your reasons...but I sure wish your recipes were "Pin-able":(. I really enjoyed the shandy recipe. Put your feet up in've earned it!

HS: Hi MBK! Tell me what you mean - do you mean the images corresponding to the recipes, or the recipes themselves :) The images should be pinable if you click in the upper left. Hope this makes sense, and apologies for confusion.

January 2, 2015

Yum, just the kind of thing I want on gray midwinter days! Those funky serving spoons are to die for.

January 2, 2015


Heidi, I've made this twice in the last three days. Such a great combination of flavors. I put it on quinoa and it was a perfect lunch. Thank you.

January 2, 2015


I made this salad this evening. It was wonderful. The flavored were so well balanced and interesting. I have made so many of the recipes here over the years and consider myself an accomplished cook, but each week something from your post expands my culinary horizons. Thank you for making this blog your "practice". I hope you have a wonderful 2015.

HS: Thanks Jess! And likewise - here's to a wonderful 2015 for all. xo

January 2, 2015

Really cool and unique salad! Happy New Year. Eliza.

January 3, 2015


Best salad I've made in months. The olives add the perfect briny tang, something I hadn't thought to pair with kale. Great dressing, too, though I admit to being a little skeptical when first putting it together. Definitely a keeper of a recipe.

January 6, 2015

Happy New Year, Heidi! Castelvetrano olives are my favorite too. I plan to make a version of this salad this coming week. It looks beautiful, is full of nutrition, and is just what I'm craving after the holidays. I just need to get out to the market to procure some flat-leaf kale. Those coriander blossoms are beautiful on this salad. Lovely detail. xo

January 6, 2015


I made this salad for guests a few days ago and it was so amazing everyone couldn't stop talking about it and I couldn't stop eating it!! The flavors and textures worked beautifully together. I added currents thinking a little pop of sweetness would pair nicely with the saltiness of the olives and cheese...a real winner! I can't wait to make it again...which I can assure you will be soon. Thanks!

January 6, 2015


This looks delicious! I'll definitely be giving it a try. Is your preference for raw or roasted tahini Heidi?

As a regular reader (and fairly frequent commenter ;) ) thank you so much for all you do on here and your work theough 2014. Your blog pretty uniquely leaves me feeling inspired on a culinary, artistic and intellectual level - whether a flavour combination, a beautiful photograph or an article I always leave your page feeling I've been stimulated!
Much love for 15! h x

January 8, 2015

Heidi, this salad looks amazing! I just discovered Castelvetrano olives a few months ago when in Italy for my honeymoon and have been wondering how I could work them into a recipe. This looks like the perfect way to highlight their fresh, buttery taste. Thanks for yet another inspiring post - I look forward to many more in the new year!

January 13, 2015


I made this last night and it was delicious. My bunch of kale was on the small side, so I scaled back on a few things; I also left out the olives because I just do not like olives... My husband and son thought it needed raisins, so they added them to their portions and I might include them or dried cranberries in my next rendition. Thanks!

January 15, 2015


I made this last night and it's a new favorite. i made it exactly as listed, including the olives. Used a knife for the kale and a mandoline for the sprouts. My husband doesn't like olives but loved them in this. They add much to the mix of flavors. I love your site!

January 16, 2015

Lisa Ann

SO GOOD. I think this may be my new favorite recipe for kale. I could literally eat the whole bowl myself. I pretty much followed it to the letter and I wouldn't change a thing. Thanks, Heidi!

January 18, 2015

This looks gorgeous. I have some kale in my garden with this name all over it.

January 28, 2015