Alright, I know everyone loves to hate on kale, but truly it’s my favorite leafy green. I think the main reason is that I cook my kale; I’ve never been a big fan of stereotypical salads, but warm salads are my fav. If you’re making a kale salad without cooking it, please do yourself a favor and massage those leaves! Get in there with some olive oil, a pinch of salt, and put your hands to work. It helps soften the kale and makes it taste so much better. Tom’s a kale-convert since we moved in together, so there’s your proof.
I first discovered the method of charring kale in Joshua Weissman’s Ultra Easy Healthy Meals video, and now I make this Charred Kale Harvest Salad frequently. Every time I make it, though, a little something changes, which is why I haven’t published it here yet. That’s kind of my style; I don’t vibe with strictly sticking to most recipes because I feel like it limits creativity and also can turn some people off to a really great dish if it feels too unobtainable. So this recipe is what you make of it.
The main components are kale (duh) that is charred over high heat, creamy cheese to mingle with the kale’s seasoning and make a dressing of sorts, roasted seasonal vegetables, toasted nuts, and dried fruit. See? Easy-peasy stuff.
The most “intimidating” thing about this recipe is charring the kale. If you’re a visual learner, click on the hyperlink to Joshua’s video for an example. Basically, get your pan and your olive oil very hot, but not smoking. Toss your kale in and using tongs, quickly flip it a couple of times to coat the leaves in the oil. It will pop and hiss, but that’s what we want. Then just let it sit in the hot pan for a couple of minutes to get that nice char, flip and repeat, and BAM done.
I’ve made this with and without a protein, but if you’re looking to add meat I think grilled chicken breast would be *chef’s kiss*. I’ve also only made this with fall/winter vegetables like carrots, butternut squash, delicata squash, etc., so I can’t confirm that it’s good with any vegetable, but you get the point. Go forth and use your brain.
2 bunches of Lacinato, or dinosaur kale, torn from stems and roughly chopped
1 sheet tray of seasonal vegetables (carrots, delicatta squash, butternut squash)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp allspice
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
1/2 cup dried fruit (golden raisins, craisins)
1/2 cup nuts/seeds toasted (walnuts, sunflower, pecan)
1. Set your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss your seasonal vegetables in olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and allspice. Roast for about 30 minutes, flipping halfway.
2. Cover your pan until the base is just coated in olive oil and heat until very hot, over a high heat. Add your kale in batches, making sure to not overcrowd the pan. Allow kale to char, flip, and char again. Remove from pan and place into the serving bowl. Repeat process until all your kale is charred.
3. Add all your kale back to the pan and add garlic, lemon zest & juice to the pan and turn off the heat. Season lightly with salt and pepper and toss it all together. Remove from pan.
4. Add feta, dried fruit, and toasted nuts/seeds. Toss until combined. Serve warm.
As always, I’d love for you to make this recipe, and let me know what you think in the comments below. You can also tag me on Instagram @vitality.blog if you post a picture.