Kale salad. Best.

by Ainslie on November 19, 2010

I was going to write some epic or ode or novel or whatever to kale salad, but it just didn’t feel right.  This is the simplest salad, so it needs the simplest post.  Raw shredded kale and beet, marinated in lemon juice, Celtic sea salt and extra virgin olive oil.  I could literally eat it every day, I had this one for dinner last night and something similar will be lunch today.

I’ve been told I’m “hardcore” about kale, but I don’t think you have to be to enjoy this.  The lemon and salt “cook” the kale leaves, softening the texture and removing the bitter edge while leaving all of the amazing vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients intact.  Basically, this salad is every nutritionists dream, and you get about one billion health ninja points every time you eat it.  I’m just sayin’.  Did I mention it’s delish?  And you can embellish with whatever you like?  Diced avocado, bell peppers, carrots, walnuts, hemp seeds, sun dried tomatoes, olives, pumpkin seeds, etc, etc, etc.

Classic Kale Beet Salad (with raisins & coconut)
2-3 cups kale, chopped as large or small as you’d like (1/4-1/3 of a bunch)
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (hemp or flax oil are great, too!)
1/4 tsp Celtic sea salt or Himalayan rock salt (or to taste, but don’t be shy about it!)
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1 beet, shredded
1/4 cup organic raisins
small handful shredded coconut
few walnut halves

Begin by chopping kale.  Place in a large bowl, drizzle in lemon, oil and salt.  Now the fun part – mix it all up with your hands, working the lemon and salt into the kale leaves until the colour begins to darken and the leaves wilt.  Let this hang out while you organize the rest of your ingredients.

Mid-massacre.  Beet #2, you’re next!

Wash and shred beet; perform Dexter-style blood spatter analysis on resulting crime scene.  Move on.  It’s not your fault, the beet had it coming.

Add shredded beet to kale, toss to coat beet in dressing.  Top salad with raisins, coconut, any other toppings you desire.  I tossed on some walnut halves after I took these pictures.  If you’re feeling fancy, transfer your salad to a plate.  If you’re not feeling fancy, eat it out of the mixing bowl.  Sometimes my salads are just too big to remove from the mixing or serving size bowl, ok.  Don’t judge!

A note on Kale: I’m sure you’ve noticed there are about a million (ok, is 5 more reasonable?) types of kale available in stores and farmers markets.  They’re all nutritional superheroes, they just have slightly different textures and flavours.  This one pictured here is by far my favourite and goes by the names of black, dinosaur or Lacinato kale.  It’s a bit softer than the more common “curly” kale and a bit less bitter than the red or “Russian” kales you may also see.  For raw salads in particular, I would pick up this guy if you can locate it!

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day November 20, 2010 at 09:09

Beautiful! I love kale salads and beets just add so much to them!

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Ainslie Greig November 20, 2010 at 14:05

thanks! I love a bit of sweetness with my kale, beets are perfect for that.

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rebecca November 21, 2010 at 13:42

i love a bit of your sweetness.. awwwww/barf.

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Ainslie Greig November 21, 2010 at 13:57

Zing!

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janet December 21, 2010 at 16:00

Hi Ainslie, I have never made a raw kale salad before but wondering whether it would be suitable for a potluck? Does it travel well? How long before it starts to wilt? Thanks!

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Ainslie Greig December 21, 2010 at 23:10

Hi Janet,

A raw kale salad would be great for a potluck. The kale is actually excellent if it has some time to sit/marinate in the dressing, it will soften and take on an even more "cooked" type texture which you may like even more than a less well marinated kale if youre new to raw kale salad! The longer it sits, the more it will tend to wilt down though, so make lots (also because it's delicious)! Hope that helps.

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janet December 22, 2010 at 00:35

Thanks Ainslie! I hope to try it over the holidays. :)

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janet April 25, 2011 at 09:08

Hey Ainslie, I finally posted about how wonderful your raw kale salad was. I broke it out for Easter as well.. YUM! :)

I wrote about it here: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/raw-kale-and-beet-salad-with-raisins-and-almonds

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