When I used to make kale salads, I found the whole leaves hard to chew and pick up with a fork. I have found that thinly slicing the kale leaves into strips or parboiling the leaves before making the salad, creates a salad well worth the extra step! The other secret I swear by is another favorite tool I purchased from Sur la Table, the Chef'n Looseleaf Kale and Herb Stripper, which I use to strip the stem from the leaves when washing them.
I also want to give a plug for the goodness of kale greens. They are loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, fiber and iron and are detoxifying. Check out Mind Body Green's Top 10 Health Benefits of Eating Kale.
For the dressing, you will need:
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2-3 tablespoons dijon mustard
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the salad, you will need:
- 5-6 cups stemmed kale, either thinly sliced or parboiled
- 1 cup sesame wheat sticks or honey sesame wheat sticks, crushed*
- 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/3 - 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- optional: 1 cup marinated or canned artichoke hearts, chopped
If you want to serve this salad as a main dish and want some added protein, feel free to add grilled chicken, fish or any protein, either tossed with the salad or served on top after serving the salad. This salad can serve 5-6 as a side dish and 3-4 as a main dish.
To make the dressing, either combine all ingredients in a glass liquid measuring cup or mixing carafe and blend with a hand blender, or using a whisk, mix vinegar, minced garlic, dijon mustard and salt and pepper together, slowly whisk in the olive oil, and set aside.
Combine all the salad ingredients in a large salad bowl, add the dressing, toss and serve. Another great thing about kale salads is that the leaves hardly wilt at all and leftovers are SO good the next day! You can even toss the salad ahead of time and serve it later.
AGAIN, let me know your thoughts on this salad and any additional ingredients you may have added to yours! Also, if you have any salad recipe requests or suggestions, please ask or share! Happy crunching!!!
*NOTE: I find sesame wheat sticks in bins in the regular grocery store or at any health food grocery store, such as Whole Foods or Earth Fare. I have seen them packaged as well; I go back and forth between the salted ones and the honey sweetened ones. To crush them, I simple put them in a ziplock bag and use a wooden rolling pin to crush them and get the consistency I want.