Market Kale Salad

This kale salad was inspired by the pizza-centric restaurant in my neighborhood that makes amazing salads. We eat there often and I love the salad with farro, avocado, carrots, fennel and a creamy green garlic dressing.

Market Kale Salad

There's a small restaurant in our neighborhood (Ragazza) 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 ordered a ringer of a salad the other night, and have been making a version at home in the days since combing market greens with the Ragazza spin. Here you see 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).

Market Kale Salad Recipe

Market Kale Salad: Prepping the Ingredients

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 wheat berries too. Either way is good.

Market Kale Salad Recipe

Make A Meal of It

It has been a bit busy around here and this sort of substantial salad 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.

Market Kale Salad Recipe

More Salad Recipes

Market Kale Salad Recipe

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Market Kale Salad

5 from 2 votes

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
Kale Salad
  • 1 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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 mins
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5 from 2 votes (1 rating without comment)
Recipe Rating


I came to your site for a salad to serve at a brunch I hosted for coworkers. I made the dressing-as is and modified the ingredients based on what I had on hand (including mixing 1/2 kale and 1/2 red leaf lettuce), and it was so delicious!5 stars


    Thanks Melissa!

    Heidi Swanson

Heidi- thank you so much!! I did not want to offend or flame you, at all. I can see this is a misunderstanding and appreciate your response. I’d love to help you get a table at Ragazza. 🙂 However, I don’t know how to contact you directly. Do you mind emailing me? Cheers – Alisha

HS: Happy to Alisha – and will do.


Always fantastic to find new ways to use kale! I never thought to mix it with avocado.
And the dressing sounds yummy – good for summer salads!


Sounds fantastic, although I have been having a hard time finding green garlic as of late, (Rainbow still have it?) I may try with some spring shallots from Dirty Girl Farms. Got my knife and glasses from Quitokeeto and they are just lovely! Thank you! Also, so glad I stuck with the comments as I also thought you were talking Pizzetta 211, but knew you lived closer to me. I must try Ragazza next.

HS: Hi Kari – I think I might have picked it up at Knoll at the Ferry market. Happy to hear your package came through – sounds like I should have walked it over 🙂

Kari Zazzara

We made this salad last night and it was absolutely fantastic! I was too impatient to finely slice the corrots and fennel so I used the slicing attachment to my food processor and it worked well but probably would have been better finely sliced. I will definitely be throwing this into my regular rotation!!


Hi Heidi,
I just made this for lunch today and literally just finished eating it. I used brown rice instead of farro because I didn’t have any and it was really delicious! Thank you!


I didn’t have all of the ingredients and this was still fabulous. I didn’t have wheatberries or farro so I did omitted that. I also didn’t have green garlic or scallions so I used a tiny bit of chopped white onion, a dash of granulated garlic and some fennel fronds instead. Even with my hack job, the dressing was amazing. Thanks for the great recipe!


@Sharon – thank you for sharing the original. I hope to visit your restaurant next time I’m in SF.


Thank you so much for this recipe! I had most of the veggies on hand, so I tried out a veggie-only version of this salad (no farrow, no almonds). A full teaspoon of honey was a bit sweet for my taste, and I actually used garlic cloves instead of stalks (just because I didn’t have any stalks). I would only recommend this for raw-garlic lovers – but I really enjoyed it! The avocado in the dressing is really a nice touch.


Last night, my boyfriend’s mom made a similar salad but the dressing was just olive oil and lemon juice. Your dressing sounds great and I love all the fresh nutritious ingredients!

Julia {The Roasted Root}

Made this tonight – it was delicious! Thanks for another great recipe :o)

Linda K

Heidi, so glad that you enjoy our salads at Ragazza!
Please know that you can always call ahead and we will put your name on the list. Anytime!
We also make this salad with little gems sometimes, but we love the kale the best! Cheers! Sharon

HS: Thanks Sharon – such a huge fan. Looks like a trip to Rainbow for that vinegar is in my future!


I am going to the farmer’s market now to pick up the ingredients for this. The dressing sounds delicious! I’m sure I will find many other recipes to use it with, but do you have any suggestions?

The Culinistas

Made this salad last night…it is wonderful. I made the dressing earlier in the day and was worried that the dressing was going to be to sweet but it was perfect with all the ingredients in the salad.


I am always looking for new ways to enjoy my favorite greens. Can’t wait to try it!

Julie Schwarz

That lovely blue bowl… I first saw it holding your deep, dark gingerbread batter and now there it is again full of creamy, crunchy, healthy kale salad. What pattern is it?

HS: I’m not sure Lizzie – it was a lucky antique store find.


Perfect timing on this recipe! Thank you! First CSA pick up on Thursday evening, and included was some kale. I seem to always struggle with the “good for you dark greens” with regard to recipes. This recipe was delicious on our almost triple digit heat day here in Colorado. I did have to substitute the olive oil (I know, didn’t realize that I was so low!). Used 1/2 Aragan oil and 1/2 canola. The nutty taste was perfect! Thank you so much for your wonderful blog and recipes.

HS: Happy it worked out Teri – good call on the argan oil!

Teri Whalen Angcos

I love kale, this salad is very inspirational. I think I will try it out tomorrow!


I love avocado in my salad dressings but always forget to add it. Thanks for the reminder and the delicious recipe posting!

Sarah @ Fresh Living

I’m destined to make this today. I coincidentally have most of these ingredients on hand! Thank you for the idea on how to put them together. 🙂


sounds wonderful. with my limited kale experience, i’ve found the russian kale, lacy and pink eddged to be much more tender than the dino kale etc. in my school garden, the kids pick it and eat it straight from the garden, sweeter too. never really see it in the markets. love the dressing, can’t wait to try it.


The salad looks great. Interesting to see how you use Kale, it’s very much a Winter vegetable over here in Ireland.

The Fingal Foodie

For those of us that are living in the disadvantaged NE, how do we tell what kind of kale we’re getting? I believe I’ve only seen one kind. Will definitely make this- kale is my go to grrrrrrreen.


Wonderful. There’s a small restaurant, Rustik Ravern, near me, too in DC known for its pizza but also with a delicious kale salad. On a summer evening nothing better than that and a glass of white wine on their patio. I’ll try this recipe soon.


You can make it vegan by substituting honey for agave nectar.

Vanessa @ Project Zen

Just made this recipe and it was so delicious! Thanks for the inspiration for such a yummy nutritious raw food feast. Had only quinoa not Farro but still worked a treat although Farro would add another great texture. Thx again


Looking forward to making this salad! Not a fennel fan, so I will try radishes instead. Any others ideas?


Danielle: In the United States, it has become quite common to use Lacinato/Tuscan kale raw in salads, especially after Melissa Clark published a recipe for a Tuscan kale slaw in The New York Times which called for very thin ribbons of thinly sliced leaves. This is the dark green, bumpy-leaved kale you see in the photographs here. At this time of year, kale leaves are neither as tough nor as sweet as they are after the first frost.


I love this recipe. love Kale and Avocado 🙂 I just mixed the dressing ingredients (I mashed avocado) in my shaker. Still it was good 🙂


Thank you Heidi for a stunner once more! Especially here in Spain where every new salad idea is heaven to me!

Kobie du Plessis

Thanks for a vegan recipe (alternative sweetener could be used for those who avoid honey). I can’t wait to try it… maybe even today 🙂


Such a gorgeous and delicious way to utilize all my garden kale! This is going on the dinner list for next week.

Jessica @ GardenGastronomy

love love LOVE kale! Have been using it tons, as its got so much good stuff in it and seems to absorb alot of companion flavors. Great to see it on your site. Summer yums are on the horizon. Rock’n roll. thanks too Heidi, your site is an inspiration for me almost daily as I peruse my natural foods pantry and make whole foods meals for my fam.


This salad sounds delicious and I’m pretty sure there’ll be a bunch of kale in my CSA this week so I know what I’m doing with it!
And congratulations on your success! I know exactly how it feels to misjudge demand for your products and at the same time be limited in your ability to produce more. I just launched a farmers’ market only artisan bread company and on our first day we sold our in 45 minutes. We’ve been able to extend that to an hour and a half (the market runs 5 hours!) but we’ve reached our production capacity! Frustrating but exciting at the same time. Fills your head with big dreams! 🙂


What an interesting combination. As much as I love kale, and as often as I use it to make chips, soups, etc., it never occurred to me to use it as a salad green for some reason. I’m definitely pinning this to my “to try list.” Thanks! 🙂

Chris at Hye Thyme Cafe

I went to Pizzetta 211 once a million years ago and had to leave because we couldn’t get served – but I would love to try it again. This sounds amazing and I have a some kale and fennel in the fridge so I am definitely going to try it. Also, it was fun running into you at Out the Door a few weeks ago! Sorry if we seemed stalkerish – you probably didn’t remember but we also met a few years ago at BlogHer Food. 🙂 Cheers!

Alice Q. Foodie

That salad sounds amazing! Avocado and kale and hearty grain–perfect for summer dinner.


This looks phenomenal! Thanks for the recipe!

Christina Main

Nothing beats a kale salad on a warm day, and I’m glad we’ve been having lots of them. Congratulations, again, on the launch of the shop! It’s a thrilling experience to be able to share things you love with a customer base that is excited about what you’re offering. The branding, packaging, bonus recipes….everything was so well done!


Kale salad has long been a favorite. We usually go the lemon juice-spiced pumpkin seeds-golden raisin route, but this definitely sounds like it’s worth a try.


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

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…


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

beth vlasich pav

What sort of mandolin do you use? The one I recently purchased won’t get the fennel thin enough. I’d love recommendations!


I crave salads constantly! I can’t wait to make this one – it looks so beautiful. I love your photography!


The salad looks great, but the dressing – oh my – it’s completely heavenly!! I love adding avocado to it. Any idea how long it would keep?


This looks great – I love kale and I am always looking for new ways to use it.


I love this! And I love the fact that you and I have secretly been on the same page all week with a Green Goddess-like dressing on our kale salads! I literally have been creaming up avocado, juicing lots of fresh lemon and tossing in all the fresh herbs I can find to dress my salads this week. It’s such a delightful twist to my usual olive oil and lemon vinaigrette.
Also, congrats again with all the success on your shop H! (I loved the recipe additions too!)

Noelle @ GreenLemonade

I am a HUGE fan of kale salads. They are so easy to prepare and taste so good. I have 2 go-to kale salads that I make almost every day. This one looks amazing as well and I love the addition of farro. I might even throw some roasted tofu in there and call it a meal!

jackie of marin mama cooks

Yum! This salad looks delish. I use kale in smoothies all the time, but I think it’s time to try it salad-style. Congrats on the success of the shop… it is gorgeous! I started my online shop almost a year ago and the shipping, stock levels, etc. are still details we are constantly improving on. Much luck to you!


You have so many gorgeous kitchen items – bowls, plates cutlery. How do you store it all? I have a small kitchen, so I stop myself from buying so many pretty things because I just don’t know where to store it, esp if it’s all mismatchy (even though I love that look).


I have been trying to figure this salad out for MONTHS. Thank you for posting this – I will be making it as soon as possible. (Does the market have green garlic this time of year?)

Abby - Bright Yellow World

This looks perfect for lunch- a hearty, nourishing salad to keep you fueled all day.

la domestique

I am so glad you posted this! I love (and depend) on your kale recipes! I love kale but I am in no way creative enough to figure out how to use it. Thanks for sharing 🙂

Lauren | Sweet Splendor

@Debra Prescott – The kale is “destemmed, torn into pieces.”


Sounds super yummy. Any good substitutes for fennel?


Oh man, I just made the Raw Tuscan Kale Salad last night for dinner & I think this will rival it!! The Raw salad is so great for a last minute or late night fix. Completely won over a friend who was convinced he didn’t like kale, too.


Hold the honey and I am all over this salad! Kale and farro are such perfect foods – and fabulous together. LOVE this!

JL goes Vegan

I really must try to eat my veggies more – this looks delicious!

Tracy A.

Pizzetta 211! I KNEW IT!


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 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!)


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


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


This looks like such a yummy salad. Thank you for sharing, i would love to give this a try !


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.


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


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?


Gorgeous looking salad Heidi. I *heart* carrot and fennel together and also like the modest amount of grain to vegetable.


A wonderful salad, full of great flavours and textures.


Thanks for this great recipe, its one that is flexible as well. I have both fennel and kales in the garden. I am going to make it with Rainbow Lacinto instead of the dark green and barley.I am going to share thsi with a my organic food buying group, THanks for another fab recipe rock!

Carol Spencer

The combination kale and avocado is always a winner. It just works perfectly.
Every kale salad I make always involves an avocado-citrus vinaigrette with Dijon mustard.
I also like to add to quinoa but I want to try your version with farro (although it takes forever to cook!)

Mike @TheIronYou

Hey! I think I live in your neighborhood because I just had this salad at a tiny pizza place. So good!


I just ate this last Sunday at the restaurant which must not be named. It’s so delicious and was wondering how I could make it–thanks for the recipe!


Amazing beautiful and delicious salad!


Hm … does the Chef’s Special Salad come with a fresh baked breadstick? I have a guess it does 🙂 I just got wheat berries in my CSA and have been wondering what to do with them. Now I know. Thanks for another beauty – and congratulations on the shop’s success!


I have lots of kale and carrots from our CSA- thanks for the idea of how to use it!

Simply Life

This looks amazing! I’d probably add some sweet potatoes and maybe some goat cheese too 🙂

Anjali @ The Picky Eater

This is such a simple and fantastic-looking salad. And congratulations on launching the pop-up store. I stopped by yesterday and really loved the gorgeous photography…too bad the tiles sold out so quickly!

Diana @ Brooklyn Galley

this is so not right now — more october than june — but i imagine this would be divine with cubed, caramelized sweet potatoes.
also, i so love how this bowl pops up, from kinfolk to gingerbread. it’s a beauty.


I love the looks of this salad! Kale is one of may favorites, and the avocados this season seem to be particularly good. I bet avocado oil would be great here too!

Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table

There is something about a kale salad that is so crave-able. I figure that means it’s very, very good for you (I use the same logic with chocolate, obviously). I look forward to trying this creamy avocado dressing next time.


This sounds positively delicious! Yum!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

what would be a good gluten-free option for this? wild rice? quinoa? millet? this looks delicious! can’t wait to make it after the saturday farmer’s market.

HS: Hi Kee – I think wild rice cooked well, until the grains burst, would be pretty great here.


That looks awesome!! I love the touch of honey for a bit of sweetness. Yummy veggie goodness. 🙂


sounds like a salad I would also crave!
I was wondering about the green garlic stalks, do you mean the white stalks or the green leaves? As far as I recall they can often be tough (both). My guess is that you are calling for green garlic for a less pronounced garlic flavor, is it perhaps garlic scaps that you used? Thanks!

HS; They look like scallions or small spring onions. Not scapes, but I don’t see why you couldn’t make a version with those if you like!


Looks like a fabulous salad!

Silvia @ skinny jeans food

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