21 inventive ways to get your kale fix
Napa Valley Grille's kale chopped salad
A favorite among Napa Valley Grille's celebrity clientele, this kale chopped salad offsets a tart lemon parmesan vinaigrette with plump golden raisins and hearty, mellow quinoa.
Chef Taylor likes to add fresh seasonal fruit as well for an additional pop of flavor and color, like diced apricot, pomegranate, or pear.
- 3 ounces kale, stemmed and chopped
- 2 ounces romaine lettuce, chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1 ounce golden raisins, soaked in simple syrup
- 2 ounces cooked quinoa
- 1 tablespoon toasted almonds
- 2 ounces lemon parmesan vinaigrette
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine kale, romaine, raisins, quinoa, and almonds. Season to taste with salt and fresh black pepper.
- Incorporate dressing and toss.
- Place onto a cold salad plate and garnish with freshly grated parmesan.
Cheesy kale chips
If a bag of Kale Krunch's Quite Cheezy kale chips keeps winding up in your shopping cart, take matters into your own hands with this homemade take on this snack that's only decadent in flavor.
Make sure the kale is completely dry before you attempt to dress it. If it is wet, the cheesy mixture won't stick to the leaves. Use a salad spinner for an easy way to dry the kale.
To keep the kale chips crisper for longer, use a silica packet from your vitamin jar to prevent the kale from absorbing moisture in the air and becoming soggy.
- 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil or vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup unsalted, raw cashews
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 3/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 bunch curly kale, stems removed and broken up into 2-inch pieces
- Preheat oven to 200ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, grind coconut oil and cashews together until mixture resembles peanut butter. Add and process all remaining ingredients except for kale.
- In a large, clean, and dry bowl, combine cheesy mixture with kale. With your fingers, rub cheese mixture into kale leaves until each piece is thoroughly coated.
- Bake for 1 hour or until kale is dry and crisp; there should be no moistness. If a few larger pieces are not cooked thoroughly, return the undercooked pieces to the oven for another 20 minutes, or until they are dry. Store kale chips in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Mochi squares stuffed with sesame kale
Mix up your weeknight dinner repertoire with this fast and easy vegan recipe that stuffs pillowy pockets of mochi (no, not the sweet type) with greens and mushrooms dressed in a bold glaze.
Mochi is generally found by the tofu, miso, and tempeh. Can't find mochi? Serve the sesame-glazed vegetables atop a bed of quinoa.
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed
- 1 leek, thinly sliced and cleaned
- 12 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon liquid aminos, such as Bragg's
- 1 cup grated carrots
- 1 cup grated daikon
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 large bunch kale, sliced into ribbons
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- 12-1/2 ounce package garlic, onion, or seeded mochi, cut into 12 squares
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Add olive oil to a large skillet set over medium heat. Sauté leek in olive oil until soft and translucent (about 3 minutes). Add shiitake mushrooms and continue cooking. Add liquid aminos to deglaze pan. Continue sautéing until mushrooms caramelize (8-10 minutes total). Add carrots, daikon, mirin, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and toasted sesame oil, and sauté until carrots are soft (4-5 minutes). Add kale and sauté 4 minutes, or until tender and wilted. Remove from heat and toss with sesame seeds. Season to taste with additional soy sauce and vinegar.
- Place mochi squares on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until they puff up (follow directions on packaging). Remove from oven, slice open each puff horizontally, stuff with sautéed greens and serve.
Kale Caesar salad
Add extra bite to your Caesar salad by swapping the usual romaine leaves for toothsome, torn-up kale.
For the croutons:
- 4 1-inch slices day-old crusty bread, cubed or torn into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence (optional)
For the salad:
- 2 lemons
- 3 small garlic cloves
- 6 olive-oil-packed anchovy fillets
- 1 large egg yolk
- Kosher salt
- 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 bunches dinosaur kale, center stems removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces
- 2/3 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Make the croutons: Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl, toss the bread with the olive oil, a generous pinch of salt, and the herbes de Provence, if using. Spread the bread evenly on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Midway through the baking time, redistribute the croutons if they are coloring unevenly.
- Make the dressing: Grate the zest from 1 lemon. Cut both lemons in half. Place the garlic, anchovies, and lemon zest in a blender, and blend until a thick paste is formed. Add the egg yolk, a pinch of salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice, and pulse to combine. Blend on low speed while pouring in 1/2 cup of the olive oil drop by drop. The mixture should look thick and creamy, a sign that you are building a stable emulsion. Continuing to blend, begin adding the oil in a slow stream. The dressing should thicken. Periodically stop pouring in the oil and add a squeeze of lemon. Taste the dressing, and add more salt and lemon juice to taste. Add water, a small spoonful at a time, blending to thin the dressing to the consistency of heavy cream.
- Make the salad: In a large bowl, combine the kale and croutons. Pour the dressing over the top (to taste), and toss to coat. Add the parmesan, toss again, and serve.
Information:Yield: 4-6 servings, with leftover dressing
Kale and burrata bruschetta
Creamy burrata and garlicky sautéed kale combine for a vegetarian-friendly appetizer equally at home as a weeknight nibble as it is at a cocktail party.
- 1 rustic baguette, sliced diagonally to form long slices
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 bunch of curly kale, roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup water
- 16 ounces of burrata
If tracking down burrata proves to be a problem for you, fresh mozzarella works well as a substitute.
- Set your oven to broil.
- On a baking tray, line up baguette slices.
- Pour 1/4 cup of olive oil into a small bowl, and with a pastry brush, brush onto the tops of the baguette slices.
- Broil until tops are slightly brown and crispy.
- While the bread is toasting, in a sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
- Using a microplane grater, grate one clove of garlic into pan. Add kale, salt, and pepper. Stir everything together.
- Add water and cover until kale becomes wilted and tender. Set aside.
- Using the other clove, rub the tops of baguette slices with garlic.
- Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of burrata on each slice of bread and top with a spoonful of sautéed kale. Serve warm.
Serves six to eight.
Shredded Brussels sprouts, kale and kumquat salad
With its many components (coins of kumquat, shredded kale and brussels sprouts, tart dried cherries, and soy-sauce-glazed pepitas), this salad may seem like more effort than it's worth. Thankfully, its phenomenal flavor and staying power (leftovers make a great brown bag lunch) more than make up for time expended.
Kumquats not in season? Substitute supremed citrus such as oranges or grapefruit. Thanks to its hearty nature, this salad is a good candidate for brown-bag lunches, as unlike delicate greens, the kale and brussels sprouts can hold up to 24 (even 48 hours) of mingling with the dressing.
- 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon maple syrup, preferably grade B
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces (about 3 cups) Brussels sprouts, shredded
- 6 kale leaves, stemmed and shredded
- 1/3 cup soy-sauce glazed pepitas
- 1/4 cup dried tart cherries or cranberries
- 8-10 kumquats, thinly sliced, seeds removed
- Whisk together the mustard, vinegar, salt, maple syrup, and olive oil in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the Brussels sprouts, kale, pepitas, cherries, and kumquats, and toss to coat. Adjust to taste with salt as necessary.
Serves 2 as a meal.
Steamed kale takes a mere five minutes to cook and is a blank-slate side practically begging to be dressed up with whatever flavors you're craving. Our current fix: a splash of fish sauce, lime juice, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for an Asian-inspired twist.
Fill a large soup pot with about an inch of water. Place the vegetable steamer on the bottom of the soup pot, spreading the metal leaves wide. Rip the kale leaves into bite-sized pieces, placing them in the steamer. Cover, and steam kale over high heat for about four minutes, or until the leaves have turned bright green and appear wilted. Taste one of the top leaves to ensure that the kale is steamed thoroughly. Keep the cover off of the kale as you serve to prevent the kale from over-steaming. Otherwise, you'll end up with sludgy, sulfuric-tasting kale that is not the vibrant, steamy kale you've hoped for.
Steaming kale naturally draws out its saltiness, so there's no need to season the leaves. It also takes out that unsavory bitterness that is so often associated with the vegetable. What's your choice way to eat kale?
Lemony kale salad with feta
We're not sure what's better about this pine nut and feta kale salad: its leftover-friendly nature (like many kale salads, it can handle, and arguably improves with, an overnight sit in the fridge) or its bold flavors and ease of preparation. Either way, it's more than worthy of an inclusion in your salad repertoire.
- 1 large bunch Lacinato kale (also known as Dino kale - it's crinkly, like dinosaur skin!), center ribs removed, leaves cut into thin strips (chiffonade)
- 1 shallot, sliced thin
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small clove garlic, minced (optional)
- 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt + more
- 1/3 cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts, toasted
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup small dill sprigs (optional)
- freshly ground black pepper
- About one hour before you plan to eat, put kale and shallot in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Pour the dressing over the kale and toss to coat thoroughly. Let sit for one hour.
- To serve, add toasted nuts, feta cheese, and dill sprigs to salad and toss thoroughly. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Spicy miso kale chips
Salty-savory miso and a sprinkle of shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven-spice powder) dress up already-irresistible kale chips for a virtuous snack you'll devour with vigor.
- 1 large bunch Lacinato kale, stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces
- 2 teaspoons neutral oil, such as canola or grapeseed
- 2 teaspoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons shiro (white) miso
- Shichimi togarashi, to taste (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
- Whisk together the oil, rice wine vinegar, and miso in a large mixing bowl. Add the kale, and toss to coat. Spread the kale out on the prepped baking sheet in a single layer; depending on the size of your bunch of kale, you may need to use a second baking sheet.
- Bake 8-12 minutes, or until kale is crispy and just beginning to brown. Sprinkle with shichimi togarashi, to taste.
Information:Yield: 4-6 servings
Linguine with kale and chickpeas
This fast and easy linguine main is chock full of hearty greens and beans and bolstered by garlic and crushed red pepper.
Whole wheat or farro linguine is called for in the original recipe; our market had neither in stock, so we substituted regular linguine.
- 12 ounces kale, trimmed
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 cups drained cooked chickpeas, or drained canned chickpeas
- 1 pound linguine
- 1/2 cup pecorino romano, freshly grated
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the kale and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the kale with a slotted spoon or tongs, and reserve the cooking water to cook the pasta. Let the kale cool, then chop it into small piece.
- In a deep skillet large enough to hold all the ingredients, cook the garlic and red pepper in the oil over medium heat for 1 minute, or until the garlic is golden. Add the chickpeas and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes. Stir in the kale and a pinch of salt, lower the heat, and cover the pan. Cook for 10 minutes more, or until the kale is tender. Add a little of the cooking water if the sauce seems dry.
- Meanwhile, return the vegetable cooking water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir well, and cook, stirring often, until al dente. Drain.
- Add the pasta to the chickpeas and the kale, turn the heat up to high, and toss well. Add the cheese and toss again.
- Serve immediately, drizzled with a little extra-virgin olive oil.
Information:Yield: 6-8 servings