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Only a Dietitian would say they have a "go-to" kale salad, right? Well, maybe, but I hope it becomes a favorite for you too! I love this salad because it is so versatile. I like to serve it as a side dish among many different meals and I've made it for many potlucks. It can also be served as a complete meal if you add protein and grains. Some yummy combinations include: poached egg(s) + cooked farro, grilled fish + toasted multi grain baguette, goat cheese + cooked barley. Use your imagination and I bet you can come up with some winning combos too!
I love to combine the 2 different types of kale for variety in texture, color, and flavor. The mild flavor and tenderness of the Tuscan kale offsets the stronger flavor and fibrous texture of the purple kale without sacrificing nutritional quality. The toasted walnuts add a wonderful roasted flavor and the sweetness of the cherries balances out the tangy dressing and the pungent flavor of the kale and shallots. I like to keep a big bag of dried cherries from Costco on hand but you can buy the same brand on Amazon.
I hope this recipe becomes your new go-to salad as well. I make it at least once a month because it's so delicious and versatile. Leave a comment about how you served it!
Kale is rich in iron but it is in a form that is not as easily absorbed by your body as iron from meat sources. Vitamin C helps increase the absorption of iron from plant sources. The lemon juice in this salad provides the vitamin C needed to absorb the iron from the kale.
Fresh Kale Salad with Cherries and Walnuts
- 1 bunch Tuscan kale
- 1 bunch purple kale
- ¾ cup toasted walnuts, chopped (or roasted sunflower seeds)
- ⅓ cup dried cherries, finely chopped
- 1 large shallot, finely chopped
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- salt and pepper, to taste
Optional Toppings to Make it a Meal
- crumbled goat cheese
- poached eggs
- cooked farro or grain of choice
- grilled fish or other protein
- extra veggies - avocado slices, roasted beets, etc.
- use your imagination!
- Remove center ribs and stems from kale. Cut into ¼ inch ribbons and wash in salad spinner. Washing 3 times is usually sufficient.
- Add kale, walnuts and cherries to a large bowl.
- Whisk together lemon juice and zest, olive oil, honey, and salt and pepper. Add chopped shallots to dressing. Massage dressing into kale mixture. with salad mixture until well-coated.
- Let sit in the fridge at least 1 hour before serving.
- Serve as a side dish as is, or add protein and grains of choice to make it a complete meal.