Raw Tuscan Kale Salad Recipe

A beautiful, shredded, raw kale salad tossed in a vibrant, lemony-pecorino dressing. From Melissa Clark's new cookbook, In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite. The first thing I made after getting back from Rome.

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad

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...

101 Cookbooks Membership

Premium Ad-Free membership includes:
-Ad-free content
-Print-friendly recipes
-Spice / Herb / Flower / Zest recipe collection PDF
-Weeknight Express recipe collection PDF
-Surprise bonuses throughout the year

spice herb flower zest
weeknight express

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 minutes - Cook time: 5 minutes

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

Comments are closed.

Apologies, comments are closed.


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! :) )


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


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!


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!


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

laura @ alittlebarefoot

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 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.


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 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

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 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 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 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

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'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

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!


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


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

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!


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

Comments are closed.

Apologies, comments are closed.

More Recipes

101cookbooks social icon
Join my newsletter!
Weekly recipes and inspirations.

Popular Ingredients

Use of this site constitutes acceptance of its User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

101 Cookbooks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Any clickable link to amazon.com on the site is an affiliate link.