Kale Market Salad Recipe

There's a pizza restaurant in my neighborhood that makes amazing salads. This one, for example, had farro, kale, avocado, carrots, fennel and a creamy green garlic dressing.

Kale Market Salad

There's a small restaurant in our neighborhood known for great pizza. And yes, the pizza is on point. But, really, it's their salads I crave - substantial, always changing, made from whatever looks great at the market. I'd tell you the name of the place, but scoring a table is already enough of a wait. It's Ragazza. I ordered a ringer of a salad the other night, and have been making a version at home in the days since - kale, farro, lots of avocado, carrots and fennel tossed with a creamy green garlic dressing. It's as good as it sounds. The version I've been making is down below, or you can check out the version Sharon makes with little gem lettuce here (scroll a bit).

Kale Market Salad Recipe
Kale Market Salad Recipe

To prep the fennel and carrots, it's worth using a mandolin if you have one. If not, no problem, just use a knife an slice very thinly. If you do too crude a cut the salad loses a bit of its finesse. I like it made with semi-pearled farro, but when I ran out of that reached for wheatberries too. Either way is good.

It has been a bit wild around here and this sort of thing is nice to be able to throw together on somewhat of a whim. To keep most of the ingredients prepped isn't a big deal (grains/dressing/carrots/ nuts)...then, it's not much of a leap to a full meal by adding a poached egg.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by QUITOKEETO yesterday. Also(!) apologies to those of you who got there after all the items sold through. I imagined that we'd stocked plenty to carry us through a two week run, and let's just say I misjudged that. By a mile. There were a few factors going into it - some of the items are so limited (or vintage) that there was no way to stock more, we have some physical space limitations, that sort of thing. Anyway, thanks for your patience (and enthusiasm!) - the learning curve on this one is steep! xo -h

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Kale Market Salad

Lacinato kale is my variety of choice here.

Green Garlic Dressing:
2 stalks green garlic (or scallions), rinsed and chopped (~1/4 cup)
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons ripe avocado
1 teaspoon honey, or to taste
fresh pepper to taste

1/2 bunch kale, destemmed, torn into pieces
1 cup / 5.5 oz cooked farro or wheat berries (semi-pearled or whole)
4-5 farmers' market carrots, very thinly sliced
1 small bulb of fennel, transparently sliced
1 avocado, cut into small cubes
a big handful of almond slices, toasted

Make the dressing by using a hand blender or food processor to puree the green garlic, salt, lemon juice, olive oil, avocado, honey, and pepper until smooth. Taste, and adjust with more salt, or honey, or lemon juice.

Before you're ready to serve, combine the kale with about half of the dressing in a large bowl use your hands to work the dressing into the kale, softening up the kale a bit in the process. Add the farro, carrots, and fennel, more dressing, and a couple pinches of salt, and toss again. Taste, and add the last of the dressing if needed. This is a salad I like quite heavily dressed. Add the avocados and almonds and give one last gentle toss.

Serves 2-4.

Prep time: 10 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Thanks for the recipe. I've missed the farmer's market here in Joshua Tree the past couple of weeks, but here's crossing my fingers for tomorrow that the farmer I like is growing his kale throughout the summer again this year, and that he still has his spring garlic. :) If so, I'm going to try it with wild rice as you suggested above. - I too am wondering if a quick blanch and then plunge into ice water would work, as I rarely eat it raw - usually saute or use kale in soup.


This salad sounds amazing and I look forward to making it soon. QUITOKEETO is a delightful little shop. My Arctic Roses are on their way. I'm eargerly anticipating their scent when I open the jar. And then there is all the fun I'll have being creative with them. Thank you Heidi!


I've been making kale salads a lot lately - usually with some version of miso dressing, flaked coconut, and apples +/- whatever else is lingering around. this version looks amazing, too. what resto inspired it? I have to know what i'm missing in my own area :).

heather @ chiknpastry

This sounds delicious!!! What would you suggest to pair it with for a meal with vegetarians (who are lactose intolerant and allergic to basil, pine nuts,strawberries and asparagus....sigh, I know!)


You guys are cracking me up. -h


will try the salad soon. A few years ago all I had on hand were tomatoes, fennel and oranges. Made a wonderful salad with orange juice vinagrette..can't remember whether I put oranges in the salad , think just the tomato and fennel . You brought back the memory.. thx


Might this pizza place be near Guerrero Street?


I know this place, and regularly order a bunch of their salads to go, to avoid the wait. So good!


Thanks for doing a kale salad variation. I love kale, and always grow it in my allotment garden. "Massaging" the kale is definitely the way to go. Thanks also for your latest cookbook; I got it a while ago and I'm really enjoying cooking from it.




I don't even live in California but I've heard of this pizza spot and am anxious to try this recipe (maybe alongside some homemade pizza!). For those of you trying to unravel the mystery, I believe this is the same restaurant that turned Steve Jobs away a few years ago because they were too busy to give him a table.


Yum! Definitely my kind of salad...


This sounds great, and with perfect timing... We are getting our first CSA basket this afternoon, containing kale, carrots, and fresh garlic. And QUITOKEETO is fantastic! Thank you, Heidi!

Jill @ 42potatoes

Looks and sounds amazing. Great ingredients! Now if I could only poach an egg it would make an excellent lunch...


Heidi, this salad looks delicious! I love your bowl in these pictures. Is it antique or can one buy it in stores?


Heidi - huge congrats on the successful launch of QUITOKEETO! Don't sweat the stuff that doesn't go just as planned, you're well loved. + here I go again, 2nd sentence after last photo 'an' :) + I'm making this beautiful salad TODAY!

Marissa | Pinch and Swirl

So tortured trying to figure out where this was inspired..I'm guessing Nopa or Bar Jules though! Tasty, will make it up this weekend for the north beach festival party I gotta show up at. Got a ton of green garlic sittin' around from eatwell's CSA box.


I would blanch the kale first? Kale being particularly tough, stringy and difficult to digest if eaten raw...

M G Nicolls

looks and sounds delicious. looking forward to trying it. friday afternoon stop by the market may be in order...

beth vlasich pav

Does it matter what kind of kale you use? Some varieties seem so stodgy that eating them raw would be hard. What kind did you use?


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