Some links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning we earn a commission on any purchases you make using the link at no cost to you.
A Raw Kale Salad That is Low on Effort, But Sky High On Flavor
Salads don’t need to be complicated to be satisfying.
Or have a million different ingredients.
How many times have you chomped into an iceberg lettuce salad and tasted nothing but the unhealthy dressing it was doused in?
With this kale salad recipe, I’ll show you that with just a few simple, high quality ingredients, you can make a salad that tastes more flavorful than any bagged salad mix and store bought dressing combination.
Plus, you barely even have to make your own dressing. You just need to juice a lemon then combine it with some olive oil, grated garlic, and cheese.
This raw kale salad that takes about 10 minutes to make is going to be your new go-to salad side dish. Because sometimes you just need a salad.
Health Benefits of This Raw Kale Salad
Kale is a start on the healthy food circuit. It’s a popular “superfood” for its dense nutritional value.
According to the Mayo Clinic, kale is packed with vitamins A, K, B6 and C, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese. In fact, it has more vitamin C than any other green. Studies have even shown that it may decrease some forms of cancer.
Simple Kale Salad Ingredients
Here’s the short list:
- Kale – Opt for Lacinato / Dino / Tuscan kale. This type of kale is tender and easy to eat raw. Look for bunches with bright, sturdy, and rigid leaves without wilting. Stay away from bunches with slimy, yellow, brown, or bruised leaves.
- Lemon – Choose lemons that are fully yellow and are a little soft when gently squeezed. This bit of softness means that the lemon is full of juice. This citrus squeezer is the only one you’ll need for the rest of your life.
- Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano – Delicious grated cheese will add a flavorful nutty goodness. Both Parm and Pecorino work well with this salad. Use whatever you have. For me that usually means Parm.
- Garlic – When picking garlic, choose a bulb that is heavy and firm with tight skin. It shouldn’t have any soft spots.
- Olive Oil – Extra virgin is best. This oil from California Olive Ranch offers the best price, taste, and availability combination. It is what I use every day.
How Long Does This Raw Kale Salad Keep?
This kale salad will keep 2-3 days covered in the refrigerator. Unlike salads with more delicate greens, the kale holds up well. It can be made the day ahead.
Can I Use Other Types of Kale?
I highly recommend Lacinato / Dino / Tuscan kale here for its tenderness and ease of prepping. But, you can pretty much always substitute Curly kale for Lacinato / Dino / Tuscan kale. However, the results will be a little different.
Curly kale is the most widely available. So, if that’s all you can find the salad will still work keeping the recipe as is. It will most likely be a little more bitter.
How to Make This Kale Salad
How to Make This Kale Salad: Video
How to Make This Kale Salad: Steps
Mix the juice from 1 lemon, olive oil, salt, grated cheese, and grated garlic to make the dressing.
Separate kale stems and leaves. Reserve stems for another use. Thinly slice kale leaves by piling a few on top of each other. Roll them into a tight cylinder and thinly slice crosswise. Repeat for the rest of the kale. Add slices to a bowl.
Pour dressing over kale. Use your hands to mix in and coat making sure as many leaves are coated as possible. Let sit for about 5 minutes for kale to soften before digging in.
Everyday Simple Kale Salad
- 1 bunch Lacinato/Dino/Tuscan kale, leaves and stems separated. Stems reserved for another use.
- 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/2 clove garlic, grated
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt (plus more to taste)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Add juice from the lemon, grated garlic, grated cheese, and olive oil to a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Thinly slice kale by piling a few leaves on top of each other. Wrap leaves tightly into a cylinder and thinly slice crosswise. Repeat with the rest of the kale leaves. Add leaves to a bowl.
- Pour dressing over kale. Use your hands to toss and coat, making sure that most leaves are coated in dressing. Taste and add salt if necessary. Let sit for 5 minutes for kale to soften.
Ready to Simplify Your Salads?
Those salads on Instagram with 10+ ingredients including 3 types of different color radishes sure are pretty. The funny thing with those salads though is that you have no idea what they taste like.
I do know some flavors that they don’t have: pride, confidence, and the free-time that comes with making your own simple, delicious salad.
Salads are kinda like life: including anything more than what matters just complicates it.
You don’t need any more complexity to your already complicated life. So, keep life simple with this kale salad.
More Kale Recipes
- Kale 101: Everything You Need to Know to Buy, Store, Cook, and Eat Kale
- Kale and Quinoa Salad with Avocado
- Vegan Kale Pesto
- Simple Chickpea and Kale Salad With Avocado
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Kale Salad
- Red Pepper, Potato, and Ricotta Frittata
- Quick Sauteed Kale With Garlic and Sesame
- Anchovy and Garlic Braised Kale
- Roasted Kale Chips In the Oven