Raw Tuscan Kale Salad

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad Recipe

Sometimes a kale salad is in order. And this is one of those times. I'm home. My suitcase is unpacked. My laundry is done. Fresh flowers are finding their way back into Mason jars, and the avalanche of mail is, quite honestly, being ignored. Travel time from our apartment in Testaccio to our front door in San Francisco: twenty hours. Twenty. Hours. It hurts to even type that. And not to whine about it too much, but flights like that mess me up - the lack of sleep, the dehydration, the weird food. On the worst flights I sometimes get headaches that turn into nausea. I end up craving extra-wholesome food for days after arriving home. This time, my first day back, I turned out a super satisfying lunch inspired by two recipes in Melissa Clark's new cookbook, In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite.

Raw Kale Salad Recipe

The first thing I made was her shredded raw kale salad. Lots of greens tossed in a vibrant, lemony-pecorino dressing. The recipe calls for just a handful of ingredients, but they all deliver - crunchy, toasted breadcrumbs, red pepper flakes, good olive oil. Simple, but special. It's a salad I threw together for lunch, but also something I can imagine making for friends or family when they come over. And I can imagine endless ways you might work it into a one-dish meal. Make a bit of extra dressing, add some farro to the mix, and top with a poached egg, for example. Or, incorporate some roasted winter squash alongside the kale. Or, do a more finely chopped version before folding into a bowl of seasoned quinoa.

Raw Kale Salad Recipe

I ate the kale salad alongside Melissa's mustard and pickle-spiked tofu salad served on toasted poppy seed wheat bread. At that moment, few things would have tasted better. I suspect both recipes will become regulars around here.

Raw Kale Salad Recipe

So, it's nice to be home. I have a couple Rome-centric posts on the near horizon. One with an extra-special recipe from a very unique place, and one compiling a list of my favorite places from this trip with links to some of the sites that helped me plan this trip. Now that I'm not jet-lagged I might be able to wrangle them into something comprehensible...

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad

I doubled up on the breadcrumbs here. Because who doesn't like a bit of extra crunch? That is reflected in the recipe below. And for those of you without access to pecorino, freshly grated Parmesan would be a reasonable substitute.

1 bunch Tuscan kale (for ex: black or lacinato)
2 thin slices country bread, or two handfuls good, homemade coarse breadcrumbs

1/2 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus a pinch

1/4 cup (or small handful) grated pecorino cheese, plus adiitional for garnish

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for garnish

Freshly squeezed juice of one lemon (scant 1/4 cup or ~50ml)

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Trim the bottom few inches off the kale stems and discard. Slice the kale into 3/4-inch ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place the kale in a large bowl.

If using the bread, toast it until golden brown on both sides and dry throughout. Tear into small pieces and pulse in a food processor until the mixture forms coarse crumbs, or crumbs to your liking.

Using a mortar and pestle or a knife, pound or mince the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of salt into a paste. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, pinch of salt, pepper flakes, and black pepper and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss very well (the dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat the leaves).. Let the salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with the bread crumbs, additional cheese, and a drizzle of oil.

Adapted from the Raw Tuscan Kale Salad with Chiles and Pecorino recipe in Melissa Clark's In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite.

Prep time: 10 min - Cook time: 5 min

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

WEEKNIGHT EXPRESS features 10 Vegetarian, Plant-centric Recipes for Feel-Good Food — Fast!

Subscribe to get 32-pages of recipes to view on your tablet, e-book reader or phone.

weeknight expressweeknight express


I love kale. I use it in soups whenever I can - it is so healthy and so underused!

Do you let the salad sit in order for the leaves to soften, or just for the flavors to marinate?

Liz from Simple Italian Cooking

Oh i am so with you on the traveling part. Any flight over 8 hours take me about 24 hours to recover from. If there is more than 6+ hour time difference it takes me 3 days to recover. I usually end up needing a vacation from my vacation :) but most of the time i have to get right back to work it is hard.

As far as Kale i am one of those that do not use it enough, i always substitue spinach for Kale, i don't know why but never bean a huge kale fan. Maybe i am not doing the right recipe. So i must give this salad a try. Thanks! And hope you are recovering.


We are very glad that you made it home safe. I hate to travel that long but, it is nice to walk back into your own home. The salad looks wonderful and I know that you needed something easy and nutritious. I make this on very hot days and sometimes late at night for a snack. I can not wait until you share the rest of your trip with us but, take a little time to yourself and enjoy your surroundings again.


Welcome home! :)

This has nothing to do with your recipe, but I just wanted to tell you that, from what I can see on this blog and your flickr, there is a great sense of cohesion in your life. Your aesthetic tastes and artistic sensibilities are so consistent from your choice of dinnerware, your recipes, your photographs, and even your dinner table.

It's beautiful. I love it.

Satpreet Kahlon

That sandwich and salad sound like the perfect lunch, especially with that poppy seed wheat bread. I've been hesitant to try a raw kale salad but this one sounds like it might change that.


This sounds healthy and tasty! I've never made a kale salad -- it always finds its way into minestrone-style soups around these parts.

Coco @ Opera Girl Cooks

This salad looks soooooo wholesome and satisfying right now. I've been in the office all day and can't wait to get our of this stale air (the air con broke!) and go home and try this. Thanks :)

Joe @ Eden Kitchen

Fresh kale and Swiss chard are both showing up in our farmers markets right now. I usually saute mine with lots of garlic and olive oil but I really like your method of making the dressing and letting it wilt the salad a bit. The addition of lemon is probably a perfect touch. I am definitely going to give this a try.

Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet



I've been eying Melissa Clark's new cookbook! This looks like such a healthy dinner. I like that everything you make is so nutritious. I feel healthy just looking at it.

Shaheen {The Purple Foodie}

I"m still waiting for Melissa's book to arrive. So thanks for posting this recipe, which I think I'll make for guests coming for dinner on Sunday.


I just made it now and am enjoying it for dinner with an egg salad sandwich (not the crappy kind). Gorgeous :)

Joe @ Eden Kitchen

Tuscan kale (cavolo nero) eaten raw is something that definitely inspires me even though I've always associated it with long-cooking preparations such as the traditional "ribollita" soup. One idea that has popped up in my head reading your post, is to use it to make a fresh winter pesto instead of basil.
By the way, I fully agree with airline meals: it always, always sucks!
I'm looking forward to reading your next posts about Rome.


Kale salad prepared this way is one of my favorites, although I've never tried it with bread crumbs. It must add a nice texture.


I've been afraid to try kale raw, but it sure looks delicious!

Jessica @ How Sweet

Great salad recipe! I loooove kale!


Kale has been on my "to do list" for a long time, and a raw kale recipe sounds even more appealing to a salad lover.

Bogna@Pots and Frills

It looks real healthy and tasy. Perfect for a light lunch. Thanks for posting.

Asim Usta

Isn't home cooked food the best? The last time I was in Italy - though we certainly ate well and loved every second of the trip (especially the food in the Emilia Romagna region) - coming home I was so grateful not only for everything we have available to us here (food renaissance!), but also for the simple pleasure of something made at home.

Alex (Simmer Boston)

I do love a good kale recipe!

I've never heard of Tuscan kale however.

Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday

Kale is one of the greatest gifts nature gives us -- the perfect way to reconnect with ourselves after long travel, hard work, exhaustion. It's so life-giving!

This salad looks great.

Meister @ Eat This Neighborhood

Funny, I just read this this morning, it's quite an interesting article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/mobile/science-environment-11525897?SThisEM

They studied whether background/white noise affects the taste of food - and although it is a small study it seems that it does. The point behind this was the taste of airline food. Hopefully in the future they will apply this research and you'll have better food on your flights!


I can totally feel for you. I just got back Tuesday after a 18 hour journey from Amsterdam to Connecticut! I have no idea what time of day it is...

This salad looks perfect and simple for someone with major time confusion!

Vicki @ Wilde in the Kitchen

Thanks for the kale recipe! I'll file it away for now because my kale sprouts are still so small in the garden :)


oh yay! coming home is just the best, isn't it? even after a wonderful vacation, lousy air travel is just the punctuation you need to make home seem like the best place in the world.

i am so glad for a new raw kale salad. it's sweet and in season right now. i can't get enough kale in my life. yum yum yum. thank you!


I'm so excited to see such an elegant raw kale salad! I am used to massaged raw kale salads with avocado, but it's inspiring to see one that I could actually serve to guests, and one that won't leave my hands all greasy from trying to manually wilt the kale.

It's also a perfect recipe because it's comprised of ingredients that I always have lying around my house.

Abigail @ Good To Think and Eat

Inspiring! I hope to assimilate your craving for healthy food when I land in India nest month! Too many times I end up getting sick!


I get nautious when I travel extensively too - a hot cup of ginger tea or a bowl of ginger-carrot soup do wonders. Or, at least I feel they do.

Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks

I was just at the market and saw the most beautiful bunch for dinosaur kale and now I am kicking myself for not grabbing it. Your pecorino looks like its the *really* good stuff! My little brother lives in the city and has told me about his beloved cheese shop and lat time I went up north, we didn't have time to stop in and I'm kicking myself again. A lot of kicking going on here. lol. I think I'll need to add more lettuce/ kale salads to my recipe page. I often make salads and then don't write down what I put in them... and also do not take any pictures. Thank you for the inspiration Heidi!

Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary)

I know what you're talking about with that flight Anywhere in the EU is grueling from So Cal. love black kale and have done a quick par boil then chill, but not raw. I'll have to try this.


I do believe you just helped me make use of one more vegetable in today's CSA delivery! I think we'll be adding it to quinoa and perhaps have a simple soup on the side, perhaps involving leeks since we got a several of those in this week's CSA as well.

Kristi aka FiberFool

I love Melissa Cark's new book and kale. I wish I could head up north to the signing tonight. Thanks for the post! Her walnut brown bread is really great as well.

Nicole @ The Dirty Oven

Raw kale salads have become a work lunch staple for me. So much nutrition. I love how few ingredients are in this salad, keeping the attention on the kale.

Sarah S.

I can absolutely commiserate with your travel ailments. I think the lack of fresh air contributes too. I suspect this salad will also satisfy as a respite from the imminent holiday over-indulgences.


love this salad! one of our favorite local east village joints in nyc called Northern Spy Food Co. started serving it last year with roasted squash and it's delightful!!

the purcells

i love the look of this salad. i love kale. i think i know what i need to make this weekend!

laura @ alittlebarefoot

Too funny! The first thing I made as soon as I was home from our 2 week back packing trip was a raw kale salad. I was going crazy for some raw veggies!


This salad looks amazing! Europe to NY is long enough, so I can't even imagine the extra hours to fly out to CA. Hopefully you can relax!


Thanks for posting this, Heidi---it's one of our absolute all-time favorite salads. Very restorative. Welcome home!


First off - the picture juxtaposing the textures of the kale vs the toast is stunning!

I lived off of raw kale salad this summer - the lemon and salt help to break down the toughness of the Kale a bit, as well as making it tangy and potent. Thanks for sharing! (Though, the weather here in Vermont does not make me want anything raw right now! :) )


Kale + lemon = perfect match. Sounds like such a clean, satisfying salad.

Erin @ Blue Egg Kitchen

yay for the radness of kale!


Oh that does look like a great meal to come back to! Welcome home!

Simply Life

I like to travel but, there is nothing like coming home to your own surroundings. I hope you have a chance to rest up before getting back into the swing of life. Love the salad, too.


Tuscan kale is my current obsession -- I grew it for the first time this year, and it's the garden gift that keeps on giving, and this in a year when almost nothing else did well, so I'm particularly grateful. And speaking of grateful, we have a local pecorino that's just amazing so when I make this I'll use a grater-ful of that.

becky and the beanstock

Edible Foods Hawaii had a similar kale recipe. Called for pine nuts for which we substituted macadamia nuts. It did call for massaging the leaves with the lemon juice. Also had some dried cranberries. Everyone loved it and I have beau coup black kale in my garden.

I will be traveling to Spain shortly and you can add on another 16 hours, including layover, from Hawaii. Not my idea of fun but hope it is worth all the downsides. I'll keep this salad in mind for homecoming.

Thanks for your delightful posts.



My Russian Red Kale and Italian Kale (Lacinato) are at their best. This recipe was delivered right on time -- prego!

Tall Clover

Love your posts and kale! In morning greens smoothies (always with a banana and any fruit), raw salads, more.

The trick I learned recently is to MASSAGE THE KALE - I slice the whole leaves thinly, add a small amount of whatever liquid and massage/knead it like bread (or sauerkraut). It breaks down the fiber, makes it softer. I keep the stems in - they're the most nutritious part - unless way too old or woody.

Check it out!


Wow, it's like you're reading my mind, first with the amazing muffins and then a kale salad! Exactly what I'm in the mood for,


Whilst I love all things green and nutritious, I found kale a bit too tough for my tastes. I suppose a bit of extra chewing won't do me any harm, and with a garlicky, breadcrumb-crunchy topping, I'll have to give this a try some time.

HS: Merry, Try slicing the kale even thinner than is called for here. Maybe in 1/3-inch strips? They'll end up even less structured.



Thanks for another great recipe! I am trying to prepare more raw food dishes as they are loaded with live enzymes and so healthy for you. I love salads! Can't wait to try this one.

Karen from DeliciousandKosher.com

Hi Heidi!

Since you're a kale lover, I thought to pass along the recipe for a wonderful side dish that I recently ate at a tapas bar. It's a very simple recipe but it must be made a day in advance.

To prepare the dish, tear up kale into pieces and place it in a marinade of coconut milk, cayenne and lemon juice. Marinate overnight. The next day, scoop out the kale and place it on the grill for 20 - 30 seconds. Serve immediately.

The grill adds a lovely smokiness to the creamy coconut flavor and heat of the cayenne. I imagine this would make a great side dish at a barbecue (or with anything - I love kale!).

HS: Totally going to try this. I get it'd be great with grilled tofu and maybe some soba noodles.


Is kale more nutritious cooked or raw? Always wondered.


Welcome back! I also just returned from Italy (3 days in Rome and 10 days in Umbria). While in Rome I made it to some of the places you list in the "20 Things...Rome" and would have loved to have experienced more--they were worth seeking out. Gelateria Teatro set the bar so high for Gelato that every other Gelato I tried on the trip paled in comparison--loved the ciocolatta arancia. Innocenti Biscottificio Artigiano was truly an Italian artisan bakery, the Granita il Pano at Taza d'Oro--heaven in your mouth, and the cacio et pepe at Da Francesco--utter simplicity, yet so full of flavor and texture it was addictive. Thank you for adding to my culinary adventure in Rome. I have an additional experience to mention: Michal, the chef who cooks with love at Percento on Via Sora. She brings the food of her homeland Israel and blends it beautifully with the best of Italian cuisine. She layers flavors in a way that has a symphony playing on your palate.

HS: Glad you were able to stop by those spots Julia, I only wish I had your other tips this time last week!


My mouth is STILL watering!!!

Cat Braithwaite

I am cutting down carbs so I made this salad without the bread. I also reduced the olive oil by a tablespoon. YUMMY!!!!!!

I love kale, but I have been looking for a way to eat it raw without feeling like a rabbit. This is the ticket!


we've been making a salad like this in my house for a while now. recently i made it vegan and gluten-free by using crushed walnuts instead of the cheese and breadcrumbs. (chop the nuts so they're the texture of breadcrumbs.) i also replaced the olive oil with walnut oil and added hemp seeds. earthy, nutty, delicious.

HS: Love this idea!


I am so inspired, I'm making this for dinner tonight!! I just crumbled my bread crumbs and am about to dress the kale. Can't wait! Thank you!


What a gorgeous dish.
Thanks for sharing.


I adore kale, but have yet to wrap my mind around a raw dish of it. However. If you and Melissa BOTH applaud it, I am obviously missing out.


I wish I liked kale. I have tried several ways and we just don't care for it. We love greens of all kinds except this one. It is so strange.
I am glad you are home and well!!! I thank you for all your lovely stories and travels and yummy reciepes.


It may sound a little too out of the context and I'm not even hoping to get an answer but wish if you can plzz tell that from where do you buy all your props? I DIE everytime I see those rustic dishes and the base.
Very pretty! :-) Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

HS: Hi Prerna, thanks! Those are just my everyday dishes and bowls for the most part. I've picked them up here and there at yard sales and flea markets, and little shops over the years.


thanks heidi for another great recipe. I made this tonight w/ cranberry/pecan bread from ELI'S (manhattan) I did let the kale marinate for 2 hours before tossing in the toasted garlic-y bread & pecorino. I will definitely do this w/ millet or quinoa for a GF variation.


Airline foods are not all bad. I love flying Emirates airlines and feel like royalty with their meals served.

This recipe for kale sounds wonderful and I will go do some shopping in AM for the ingredients. Just returned from India and 32 hours of flights and layovers. Good time for reflexion


I know what you mean about long trips or other ordeal with substandard nutritional conditions can make you feel so awful that you NEED something fresh, green, and delicious! This looks absolutely gorgeous and perfect for October: Unprocessed. Thank you!

Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well

Kale n' Garlic...2 of my most favorite ingredients...sounds delish Heidi.
Enjoy your weekend!

The Healthy Apple

I understand the several days of craving healthy. Happens after vacations and holidays. This looks particularly good for those times. Welcome home.


when i came home from paris, and had traveled 20 hours (with a five year old in tow) the first thing I did was go to the ferry bldg. and get fresh salad ingredients. I feel like jet lag is a mild version of the flu and fresh crispy vegetables is the antidote. Glad to hear the trip went well....


I love kale with poached eggs and although I enjoy raw kale salads such as this, I think your version would be wonderful sautéed with eggs on top. The red pepper flakes and the grated pecorino cheese are such a nice addition. Thanks for the inspiration.


This salad looks lovely, but is it important to use lacinato kale in particular in this recipe? Or can a more common variety be substituted? I'm not sure that I've ever seen lacinato at my neighbourhood grocery store.


I LOVE this salad. Kale is so earthy and the extra virgin and garlic really shine. I love the kick from the pepper flakes. This is so good!


Home is where the good food is. I like something light and fresh. I do not know how you can keep up with everything that you do and still eat right. Keep up the good work and the great post coming.


I know exactly what you mean about craving extra-wholesome foods after a long trip. I love to travel, but the changes in diet, time zone, routine, and especially the loooong days of flying are wearying, and it always seems like lots of fresh vegetables are the cure for me.

The Rowdy Chowgirl

i make a salad like this but without bread crumbs or chili flakes and with toasted walnuts and dried cranberries or golden raisins. it's delcious.


"I ate the kale salad alongside Melissa's mustard and pickle-spiked tofu salad served on toasted poppy seed wheat bread." Yum!

This kale recipe sounds lovely, but so does the tofu salad! Could you post that recipe as well? Always looking for new ways to use tofu!


I'm salivating.


Heidi, I liked this so much I made it twice in 24hrs! and ate the lot. My tweaks were: I added a finely chopped chili as I didn't think the flakes gave enough heat and made the rustic bread into rough croutons fried in a bit of olive oil. I also found it improved by sitting for an hour or two not just the 5 or 10 mins as I did the first time. I only had Grano Padano cheese on hand but I will do it again with pecorino. Thanks for a delicious salad, it will be on my menu for as long as the kale lasts


this was delicious! I used lime and parmesan and was floored by how well the flavors came together. thank you!


I can totally relate to the challenges of long flights - I just returned from Shanghai, a mere 26 hours worth of travel to get home and then left 36 hours later for washington DC for the Share our Strength conference of leaders. Was I crazy committing to that right after my trip!? Wish I were home to recharge with your kale salad...

Cooking with Michele

I love to eat salad. You share a very delicious salad recipe i will try it.

Spousal Visa

Hello! I'm new to this blog and am absolutely loving it. The toll that travel can take often makes me wonder (just for a moment) if it's worth it. And then I'm reminded of the amazing food that I will never get to try if I don't force myself onto that plane. Thank you for the lovely writing, it is always so wonderful to keep up with those who appreciate food as an art form.



Made this yesterday and it was REALLY good. It tasted even better the next day.


You really do know how to make a nice meal and relax after a long trip. Generally I pick up some kind of fast food and it never looks this great. Glad that you are home.


Looks very healthy - especially like your photos and the plank table.........


I love how simple and refreshing this recipe is. One my favorite and most used cookbooks is Melissa Clark's Vegetarian Times Cooks Mediterranean. The binding is split and the pages are stained with tomato juice, olive oil and years of use. I'm not a vegetarian, but I still find so much inspiration in that book.
I will definitely follow Melissa and pick up her new cookbook!

Dina Avila

I too just recently purchased this book and was pleasantly surprised to see one of the dishes I was eying up photographed. Looks amazing.


That salad looks amazing! I have been looking for ways to eat more Kale, as it is is SOO good for you but my ideas have been falling flat. This looks great!


I can't wait to try this with the kale I'm growing!
I love the way you write about both food and travels, and wish I could travel as much as you do.



mmm, i loove kale. the combo with the garlic and red pepper flakes is delicious!


This looks amazing. And we finally have kale at the farmers' market. I finally picked up some Rancho Gordo heirloom beans and am planning to make a kale and bean soup. Might have to check out your ribollita. Mmmm.

nithya at hungrydesi

This was wonderful, I was worried about the bitterness of the kale but it wasn't a problem, I chopped the bread into small cubes rather than making breadcrumbs and toasted them in garlic oil. Topped the salad with a poached egg as you suggested and it was perfection, I will definitely be making this again, thanks!


Amazing - I finally caved and took the kale plants that didn't quit all summer to the compost and then this recipe appears. I guess I will now have to pay for kale.

On a different note - I've been reading a book called Heal Your Headache after hearing about it on NPR. One of the things the author talks about are migraine triggers (he has a much broader definition of migraine than I'm used to). Long airline flights contain so many headache stimuli - including the food- but he does have some advice on how to combat the headaches. It's worth a read.


Try this with nutritional yeast! I make it all summer and can't get enough!


I'm the same with travel - all that bad food leaves me craving a good salad! I must admit that raw kale is new to me, but I have a few leaves left from my veg box, so will give it a go today!

offmotorway veggie food and travel

WOW! I tried this last night when I made lasagna for my family and it was fantastic. I have never made a salad with kale but now I am going to have plenty of lemons and kale handy to make this. Thanks!!


Do not use regular curly kale for this. Russian red kale might work, but test a piece first. This appeared a couple of years ago in the NY Times, and Melissa discusses her recreation of the recipe in some detail. It's an amazing recipe and good for pot lucks since it doesn't sink into a soggy mass.


I just made with some changes....spinach for kale, because that's the green I had on hand, shaved parmesan for pecorino, one piece of bread, and a few marcona almonds finely chopped, roasted chickpeas and roasted cubed butternut squash (because I had some left over from the pumpkin feta muffins
although the dynamic of the salad was a little different, it was delicious. I hope that it was meant for one....because I am eating the entire thing as I type this.



I love this recipe!! Kale is amazingly good for you and I love using it in dishes.

Due to complete Kidney failure, I am on a very strict renal diet. I was wondering if you could write a post about recipes that are low in potassium/phosphorus and renal safe. It's very hard to find information on this diet so it would be a great help if you would write a post about it.

Thanks in advance for your time.. xox


Elle, (and Heidi)
I work in the Nephrology Div of Cincinnati Children's Hosp. Here is a link to some recipes to get you started. Hope it helps. http://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/cookbook.cfm


You should do like I do and get a wife that packs a bunch of fruits, vegetables cheeses and crackers for the flight. When we fly, its constant hippy style grazing, love it. The only thing I don't like is all of the other passengers looking at us eat our awesome picnic.


Made this for dinner tonight alongside a spicy tomato and white bean soup. It was delicious! So healthy and satisfying. I love kale!!


I like to hear about all of your travels but, I also, know how great it is to get home again. I hope you will rest up and share everything that you learned with us. The salad looks wonderful. This will be great for my lunch.


What a great way to feature kale - absolutely gorgeous!

Allen of EOL

Just a gorgeous salad - thanks for bringing this cookbook to my attention. It sounds right up my alley! Looking forward to more posts on Rome. I can't wait to make this salad :)
Heidi xo

Heidi - apples under my bed

Heidi, I love kale - all kinds. Do you find that this dressing is sufficient to soften up the kale for friends who are new to this leafy green veggie? I would also love to know if you have another way to marinate a raw kale salad for newbies. I find an avocado based dressing works wonders. I continually look to find new ways to introduce raw kale salads to my mom and friends. Welcome home, looking forward to hearing about your trip. Noelle

Noelle @ GreenLemonade

this looks great! One small thought though is eating raw crucifers can be hard on thyroid production and digestion. Maybe a quick anching could keep the greens crispy and light while still allowing for ease of digestion? Thanks for the recipe heidi!


I made this last night and it was amazingly delicious. I like to "massage" my raw kale leaves for a minute or so before dressing the salad with a tiny bit of olive oil to wilt them a bit. I subbed toasted pine nuts for homemade bread crumbs since I just threw out the stale half-loaf of italian. The peccorino gives this dressing amazing, almost caesar-like flavor, minus the anchovies obviously. Will be making this weekly I'm sure!


Perfect ingredients to make my mouth water. Anyone who hasn't already fallen in love with kale should definitely try this!

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

I just made a version of this with what I had on hand, substituting spinach and parmesan for kale and pecorino. I didn't dress the salad earlier, since spinach doesn't require it. I also added a bit of dijon to the dressing. I chose to made the bread crumbs fine and very deeply toasted. It was incredible. I can't wait to try the recipe as is with kale. Thanks so much!

Virginia Benitez

can you stop making me so hungry?! cheers.


There is nothing I like better than to eat something light after a long trip. I know that you are still getting over your jet lag, which is nothing a good long sleep won't cure. I know it will not take you very long to get back in the swing. Not that you lost a step because you didn't. Anyway, gald to have you back in the states.


thanks for another great recipe Heidi. This was so good, made it last night for tea, oh heavens above, that cheese dressing was just sooooo good on it. Irish kale a bit tough at the moment so i steamed it for a wee while and then let cool with the dressing on it. delicious.

miss vivien

Hi Heidi - welcome home! Eagerly awaiting your Rome posts...we're going for thanksgiving and really excited to explore outside tourist areas and of course, eat :)


Heidi... can you come up with a Wheatberry salad recipe that uses cranberries,raisins, and seed?


I've been living and breathing Clark's new cookbook. She had me at the whiskey bundt cake!


Up until today, I thought you were an amazing food photographer, then I finally decided to try one of your recipes! I tried this one: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/ten-minute-tasty-asparagus-and-brown-rice-recipe.html.. I'm not even a vegetarian, but this was delicious. Especially liked the dressing.



Thanks for this raw kale salad recipe. Tried it tonight and LOVED it! I substituted toasted walnuts for the bread crumbs since I'm not supposed to eat gluten. This recipe officially doubles my raw kale salad repertoire, so thank you! My other raw kale salad recipe was given to me by a friend: olive oil, apple cider vinegar and/or lemon juice with zest, grated ginger, honey to taste and dijon mustard (my addition). Stir into chopped kale and let sit for an hour in the refrigerator. Now, I have another way to eat something that truly nourishes me. Thanks!


Hi Heidi,

I tried this salad tonight and it was delicious! Thank you for posting it. It's fun to try a favorite food in a totally new way.

The salad is also good with the addition of Italian sausage cut into 1/4 inch rounds - for the non-vegetarians out there. :)


I love kale! I made this last night but made a few adjustments - I used regular kale and sliced it very thinly, then sauteed it with garlic and very little olive oil, just to take the bite off. I added some balsamic vinegar to the pan and cooked it a bit longer, then turned off the heat and tossed the breadcrumbs/croutons (sourdough) in. Cheese added last. My boyfriend hates kale and gobbled it up!


What an absolutely beautiful site. I just found you today and I am thrilled. I really look forward to making this recipe as my husband loves kale and I'm running out of ideas. Thank you and I look forward to visiting regularly!


Wonderful recipe, Heidi. Kale is not usually my favorite but this looks so good...who knew kale could turn out so delicious? Your healthful recipes are a true inspiration!


I'm not a huge fan of Kale but I do respect it. This looks very good. I can say it's not as bitter as most people think. This does put me in the mood.


My children who are 4 and 7 are in love with this salad. They love it so much, I have already made 3 times. They even took it for lunch today!
I so enjoy your blog. I have been following you since your "Five Minute Tomato Sauce" which is a brilliant staple in our home.
Thank you Heidi!!


There was a profusion of kale at the farmer's market this week and I grabbed 3 different bunches: Some Cavolo nero, a purple curly type and the plain old green one I normally get. I made another pot of Greens & Ginger Soup and a big pan of Roasted Delicata Squash Salad and was beginning to wonder about other ways to use up my haul of kale when I saw this recipe. Yay!

I'm not a big fan of bread crumbs and was wondering about tossing some toasted slivered almonds over top for crunch instead. Has anyone else gone that route?


I can never have enough recipes for greens or kale. This one looks particularly delicious and I'm planning a meal around it as we speak. Thanks for always keeping thing so fresh, light and lovely!


Lynne -- I use sunflower seeds a ton in kale! The slight crunch is nice but they also soften up a touch too when tossed in at the end of cooking the kale. I recently wrote about kale on The Sweet Beet and am so thrilled to see this veg finally getting all the attention it deserves :)

The Sweet Beet

Peccorino cheese is amazing. Any recipe that uses it on a salad - I'm in.

Denise Michaels

I made this last night and discovered my new favorite salad....so so so very good. I could have eaten the entire bowl of it myself. This will become a side-dish staple at my house!


I discovered another great use for this tasty salad - it is great cooked! I had some leftover so I placed it on a jelly roll pan and cooked it at 300 degrees for 10-15 min, until it was crispy. YUM!!


I made this delicious salad for dinner last night to accompany two homemade pizza pies. Despite the fact that my pizza is a household favorite, this little salad outshone the pizza!

I highly recommend the recipe. Who would have thought raw kale could take down pizza?


I think you read my mind...I've got a huge bunch of kale in the fridge just waiting to be turned into something like this...


Oh wow, this looks good. I love the idea of the roasted winter squash. Of course, I might toss the two together and top with the poached egg. What a tasty meal!


The Red Lentil Soup in Melissa's book is awesome, one of my two favorite soup recipes. The other is the Green Soup with Ginger from this site, which I make with kale and Swiss Chard, and is also awesome. I can't rave enough about both of these soups. This recipe looks good, if I can bring myself to buy kale and not make soup out of it.


I love this version of raw Kale salad. It's so beautiful and earthy. I go nuts for Kale in the winter and love playing with the many flavors that pair with it. I can't wait to try this one. My favorite so far? Kale with avocado and grapefruit!

Sabrina Modelle

I made this salad for dinner early last week. And then late last week. And then early this week. You get the idea. It's been a huge hit with my husband and friends. Delicious!


I don't know your health situation, but I, too, used to get nasty headaches and nausea on plane trips. I now take an Alkaseltzer plus before I go and it keeps me from having a bad result. On such a long trip, you might like to repeat after some hours. Of course, drink a lot of water, too. If I could help you not have headaches, I would be so glad, as I have struggled w/headaches many years, and found out I have a problem w/gluten. I hope my suggestion might be helpful. All the best to you. --S.


Wonderful recipe! Just made it last night and am totally sold. I'm always looking for more ways to incorporate more kale into my life.
One suggestion - I added raw walnuts, which made a great addition.


I made this a few nights ago and it rocked. Brought the house down. So good.

Jen @ keepitsimplefoods

Last night, this recipe. Excellent, except I think I had just a trifle too much kale and not enough dressing. And, I grated the pecorino too coarse. It needs to be really fine to make the dressing thick. But very good, and enough to have with tonight's dinner, which is your corn-pudding stuffed acorn squash from several years ago. Interesting, although I have a basketball-size acorn squash, the interior cavity is rather small, so I had a ton of pudding left over to bake in a dish. I don't think that will be a problem though.


I love kale and pecorino cheese, so seeing this combined in 1 recipe make me a very happy girl!

More recipes like this please! Thank you Heidi


Brilliant! I love kale braised, in soups, with pasta, etc. but have never featured it uncooked,as a star ingredient on its own.

Kale Salad for lunch today, for sure.


I'm not a huge fan of kale, but this was really great. The dressing tasted like a zestier Caesar. I left out the bread crumbs and didn't really miss them. Thanks!


I made this last week and it was divine. We used a roasted garlic bread to make our own bread crumbs. I made the salad first and let it sit while we prepared everything else for the next hour- the leaves were perfectly tender- I used a huge wooden bowl and made the vinaigrette in there - I absolutely love this recipe! Thank you!

Sarah Pearse

I teach cooking in low income areas in the city - and I saw this recipe. It looked fabulous as I am constantly trying to come up with recipes to accommodate greens. I did a slight variation. I sauteed onion slices first, added the kale and wilted it and made it a warm salad (same dressing). It was a HUGE hit and a nice cold weather variation. Thank you for all of your inspiration!


Will you please share the tofu salad recipe? Thanks!


I love kale, and the farmer's market in Corvallis produces a great variety of it (Denison Farm usually produces the most delicate). But what made this recipe extra special? My meat-n-cheese-pick-out-the-parsley Texas man gobbled it up, demanding to know what this was! I rarely follow recipes, but If this gets raw kale into him, then it is pretty much a miracle. I served this before some lovely Neopolitan-style pizza I made - total hit. And I am taking the rest to have as a few light lunches at the office. Thanks.


I made this last last along with the tofu salad sandwich and it was delicious. I had the left overs today for lunch and it was just as good. I would never have thought to make a raw kale salad but this will become regular. Thanks Heidi!!


Post Your Comment

More Recipes

Popular Ingredients