Sunday, November 21, 2010

Tuscan Kale Salad

This is a colorful, elegant salad that's a pleasure serving with love and a toast to good health, made from one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables available. One cup of this delicious salad provides 1,300% DV vitamin K, 200% DV vitamin A, 88% DV vitamin C, and many other nutrients including protein, minerals like manganese, magnesium, calcium, and copper, antioxidants like Superoxide Dismutase, sulforaphane, lutein, kaempferol, and quercetin, and other phytonutrients including at least 45 different flavonoids.

Tuscan Kale Salad


4-6 cups loosely packed, finely sliced kale leaves with center ribs removed. (I use Lacinato (dinosaur) kale. Any variety of kale can be used.)
two shredded carrots
one diced red, yellow, or purple sweet pepper. (Either raw or frozen peppers work well in this salad.)
juice of 1 medium lemon
1 tablespoon organic raw apple cider vinegar
3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 small or l large clove(s) garlic, mashed
1/4 c fresh chopped parsley (or 2 t dried)
1 T fresh chopped basil (or 1 t dried)
1 T fresh chopped oregano (or 1t dried)
Celtic or Himalayan salt & pepper to taste
red pepper flakes to taste
2/3 cup grated Pecorino Toscano or other flavorful Italian grating cheese like asiago or parmesan

*Use as many organic ingredients as possible. Feel free to substitute your choice of herbs.


"Massage" the shredded kale leaves with clean hands. This helps tenderize it and develop sulforaphane. Combine kale, shredded carrots, and diced pepper.

Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, herbs, salt, pepper. For an extra kick, add a pinch (or more to taste) of hot red pepper flakes.
Pour over kale in serving bowl and toss well.
Add 2/3 of the cheese and toss again. Garnish with the rest of the cheese.

This salad should be prepared at least a few hours in advance, and keeps well for a couple of days covered in the refrigerator. Many raw fruits and veggies are difficult for me to eat due to my digestive disease. When I first tried kale, both raw and cooked, it didn't seem to be a vegetable I could tolerate. Advance preparation of this salad though, combined with lemon and raw cider vinegar, not only helps develop the sulforaphane, it also tenderizes the kale, making it easily digestible even for someone like me with a very sensitive digestive system.


  1. Hello there Linda !
    I have not used kale in a raw form .. but in soups .. this looks very good though : )
    In case you were looking for my blog .. the name has change .. it is now .. a little more "me" LOL
    Joy : )

  2. Hey there Joy! Try it . . . you'll like it! I've served it to people who've never eaten kale and they've raved about it - even people who were a little dubious about it at first.

    Thanks for the link - a little more you is a good thing!

  3. I've never had raw Kale either. Did you leave out IRON in your list of happies for Kale? This sounds like a nice change from a regular salad, I'm going to look for some. Was the picture showing Kale in your garden?

  4. It's surprisingly delicious raw Debbie! Kale does have some iron, (about 6% DV in a cup,) along with other nutrients like B vitamins, fiber, and Omega 3. It's an amazingly nutritious veggie.

    Yep, that's one of my little side-yard veggie beds. The only things left in the beds are kale, parsley, and thyme. That's another great thing about kale besides how pretty it is in the garden - it's very hardy. I'm looking forward to seeing how late in the season it will last. Growing kale is a great way to extend a veggie garden's productivity with an extremely nutritious food.

  5. I have never eaten Kale either,but some say it is like Spinach and I do like Spinach! Your presentation makes it look delicious.


  6. To me it tastes more like cabbage than spinach Eileen, but I think it has its own unique flavor. It really is very delicious.

  7. I love salad with extra virgin oil and vinegar/lemon juice! I have tried kale before but I can imagine this to be really yummy... a great good food!!

  8. Thanks for this recipe! I will make it with that kale I have in the fridge right now.

  9. Wow, that looks and sounds great! I have to give it a try... but I haven't seen this kind of kale in my supermarket :o(, but probably one can use another kind.
    Take care

  10. We still have kale in our garden, Linda. We just covered it with hoops and plastic a couple of days ago. The salad looks wonderful. I'm going to try it. Your kale looks like lacinato (dinosaur) kale. Mine is red russian. Both are really good, and even sweeter after frost.

  11. I had sauted kale served with veggies over brown rice last night for dinner~Delicious! This recipe also sounds yummy! gail

  12. I like kale cooked a lot but have never been very struck by it raw - but I've never tried this massaging and soaking in a dressing either, just eaten it straight away. I'll try your method. It's annoying though that when kale comes along, I'm more generally interested in warm dishes than in salads.


  13. It is Stephanie!

    Hope you like it Rosey!

    You can use any kind of kale Alex.

    Yep - it's lacinato Mom. It's getting kind of chilly at night here now, but so far the kale's holding up. Maybe next year I'll get some hoops and plastic. The kale's too close to the edge of the garden to cover it this time. I think you'll like the salad.

    I think so Rose!

    That sounds yummy too Gail!

    The massaging and marinating makes it very digestible raw Esther. I like both raw and cooked veggies, and from what I understand there are nutritional benefits to eating them both ways. Cooking makes some nutrients more available. There are some nutrients, especially the phytonutrients though, that are damaged by heat. I know what you mean - cooler weather seems perfect for warm dishes.

  14. I've never thought of eating kale in a salad, but this recipe sounds intriguing. Thanks for the tips on tenderizing it; I have trouble, too, with some raw vegetables. It is still looking gorgeous in your garden--what a lovely shade of blue-green!

    Hope you had a very happy Thanksgiving!

  15. I'm growing Tuscan Kale, and have also had trouble recently tolerating raw greens, so I think I will try this! I have just enough, but that will be the end of my fall kale, I think.

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

  16. Hi! I wanted to let you know that the blog carnival "How to Find Great Plants, Issue #1" was published today and includes your post on kale. Thanks for participating!

    It's nice to come back and see these recipes for the same vegetable. Definitely one of our favorites!

  17. I hadn't thought of it as a salad veggie either Rose, but I really like it this way.

    I'm amazed it's still hanging in there in the garden. We had a very nice Thanksgiving - hope you did too!

    I hope you give it a try JGH. It's delicious! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving too!

    Hi AF, Thanks for the heads up, and thanks for the invitation!

  18. what an exciting experience!/hilarious! Delightful! True!
    Kitchen Garden

  19. Hello! This looks delicious. My daughter is vegetarian and loves kale - we'll definitely give this one a try!


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