This salad has changed my life.
I love salad. Forever and ever. Not just to get my veggies in, but because I completely and constantly crave the combination of flavors and textures that you get with the stuff.
One of my favorite places to get it is at Central Market or Whole Foods…places that have incredible salad bars. It means that I can get a little lettuce, tons of chopped veggies, lots of bacon, different kinds of cheeses, and multiple kinds of dressings. Yes, I mix.
Unfortunately, salads like this just don’t usually happen at home. You know? Despite the constant amount of groceries and produce it always seems I am buying, there is not usually an abundance of “salad ingredients” in my crisper.
Which is why this salad has been such a game changer.
It doesn’t require multiple add-ins, and yet is still completely satisfying without them. This is because of the choice of greens (kale), and the choice of strong flavors in the dressing (lemon, garlic, and parmesan)… so many of my favorite things in one bowl.
The kale is substantial enough to not wilt, giving you chew and crispness, and the dressing adds more flavor than you could ever need. The only other necessary garnishes are pine nuts and more parmesan, which to me are definite staples, so I always have them around.
Oven dried tomatoes are as addictive as candy, so while they aren’t a must, they are awesome in this salad.
On a side note, I have been trying to have more patience with the process shots…I usually just get in to the kitchen and have a great time for a couple hours (or however long I’m in there). It’s theraputic. I don’t often feel like stopping to wash off my hands and pick up my camera. I thought since this was a short recipe, I could manage to take a few pics along the way.
Then this happened, and I changed my mind.
Can you see? The olive oil is not going in the mini processor.
Parmesan Lemon Kale Salad with Pine Nuts
Makes 4-5 big servings
4 cloves garlic
1-2 lemons, juiced
1 Tbs white wine vinegar
1/2 c good quality olive oil
1/3 c parmesan, freshly shredded or grated
Salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch Kale, washed and torn in to pieces (I prefer tuscan kale-the curly kind-but for some reason decided to photograph it when I was using a different kale. Still tastes great though!)
pine nuts, toasted
1/2 c oven dried tomatoes (approx 1 pint)
I usually just throw all the dressing ingredients together in my mini food processor. If you don’t have one, or prefer to just make it by hand, chop the garlic, mix it together with the lemon juice, and vinegar, and slowly stream in the olive oil to make an emulsion. Stir in parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
Spread pine nuts on a baking pan and toast in a hot oven for a minute or two. Watch these, or they can go from zero to burnt in no time.
Pile a handful of kale greens into a bowl. Sprinkle pine nuts, shaved parmesan, and more salt and pepper (if you wish) over the kale, and pour on dressing. And don’t forget the tomatoes if you want them! Totally not necessary…I made this salad numerous times before trying it with the tomatoes, but they are awesome.
*If you have leftover dressing, refrigerate it of course, but be aware the olive oil does solidify in the fridge. Just take it out a few minutes before you need it so the oil can return to a liquid. This dressing is even better the next day 🙂
Recipe adapted from here