Lacinato Kale and Pecorino Salad

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.

Lacinato Kale and Pecorino Salad

You're looking at one of my favorite winter salads and if you feel up for shredding a few ingredients, it won’t disappoint. It’s the most wintery of kale salads - an especially good one. Buckle up for a hearty, filling, and nutritious salad that happily makes a meal on its own. It also plays nice with others and is brilliant over a bed of pasta, or platter of roasted vegetables, or a grain bowl.
Lacinato Kale and Pecorino Salad
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. Don't skimp. A strong lemon-tahini dressing is leveraged to brighten things up and take the raw edge off of the kale.

The key here is your knife work. For this salad to really pop, really shred the kale and Brussels sprouts and green onions finely, delicately. It’s leads a feathery texture that makes all the different in a robust salad like this one.
Lacinato Kale and Pecorino Salad on an Antique Serving Platter


I tend to make this salad the way it is written below. The combination of pecans, green olives, and pecorino is a winner in my book. But walnuts are great too if that is what you have on hand. If you have celery, I like to add it as well. Again, sliced whisper thin. A finishing kiss of lemon zest from the lemon you used to make the dressing is nice as well.

There is no shortage of kale recipes on the site, so have a look around. On the salad front, I love this Genius Kale Salad from the Food52 Genius Recipes Cookbook. This Salad Booster is fun, and this Kale Market Salad (xo Ragazza!) is such a fave. Also! Don’t miss Bryant Terry’s Amazing Green Rice.

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Lacinato Kale and Pecorino Salad

4.8 from 5 votes

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
  1. 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.
  2. 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 mins
Total Time
15 mins
If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Recipe Rating


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!


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!

Jen @ sweetgreenkitchen

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.


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!!

Rebecca @ DisplacedHousewife

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.


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

Sarah from Soymilk + Honey

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

Bianca Daalder

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


Beautiful, Heidi. Happy New Year!!!!

The Healthy Apple

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.

Kari @ Cooking with Toddlers

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.


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.....


How do i shred brussels sprouts?!


Beautiful salad, Heidi!

Julie | This Gal Cooks

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!


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


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.


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

Jules @ WolfItDown

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

Jason Galletti

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

ruby owings

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