We’ve been noticing lately the trend of kale salads popping up more and more on many restaurant menus, all with a little different variation from one another. We have found that the majority of the ones we like all contain some sort of fruit, nut, herb, and cheese.

A couple days ago, we finally decided it was our turn to attempt a homemade kale salad. We had brainstormed about what we thought would make the perfect salad (keeping those four inspiring ingredients in mind) and then headed to the store. We were able to find just about all of the ingredients at our local Trader Joe’s.

After just about 30 minutes total of prep and cook time, the end result was fascinating! We have now made a new favorite, not to mention a healthy salad!


For the Salad:
1-10 oz bag Tuscan raw kale, stems removed
2 cups cooked red quinoa
2 cups baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pine nuts, slightly toasted
4 leaves fresh basil
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (1 lemon)
1/2 cup Parmesan Reggiano cheese, shaved

Place 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa and 1½ cups water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed, for about 15 minutes. Let cool. Next, blanche the kale 4 minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water to reduce cooking. Spin the kale in a salad spinner. Chop the kale and put into a large bowl. Add cooked quinoa, spinach, cranberries, pine nuts, basil and lemon zest to the bowl.
For the Dressing:
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1½ tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
1 teaspoon blue agave nectar
Kosher salt to taste
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, garlic, agave, kosher salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking to incorporate. Add desired amount of dressing onto salad, toss and top with fresh shaved Parmesan Reggiano cheese.

Store any remaining salad in the fridge. We’ve discovered that it’s even better the next day!




Makes 4 servings