My love for kale has been well documented. But I have a dirty little secret. I totally have a love hate relationship with raw kale. I love the idea of raw kale salad, but usually when I make it or order it I’m pretty disappointed. Either it’s too bitter, or too much dressing, or too…something. Well ladies and gents, that time is over because I’ve found the perfect raw kale salad!
After many, many, MANY failed attempts at the perfect raw kale salad I’ve determined the following three things are essential:
1. Remove all the ribs from the kale (this takes out the bitterness)
2. Sweet and sour elements are essential (lemon juice & honey in this salad)
3. You gotta give it some love (we’ll get to that later!)
I think curly kale is the best choice here, but you have to be sure to remove all the ribs from the leaves. All the bitterness of kale lives in the ribs. When you cook it, it’s no biggie, but eaten raw it can leave a bad taste in your mouth (literally!)
The next (and maybe most important) tip: You have to really get in there and massage the dressing into the kale. Kale is so hearty that it can take some work! I also think this salad works better if you make it a few hours ahead of time. I know, dressing a salad in advance?! You must think I’m crazy. But in this case, it works!
Thinly sliced red onion and dried cherries are the perfect finishing touches to this salad. A little bite from the onion and some additional sweetness from the cherries make this salad well rounded and utterly delicious!
If you’ve tried raw kale salad in the past and they haven’t been your favorite, give this one a go. I think you might change your mind!
- 1 bunch kale
- 1/4 red onion, sliced thin
- 1/3 cup dried cherries
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake
- Make the dressing: whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, honey, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flake. Set aside.
- Remove ribs from kale stalks. Wash leaves and tear into bite size pieces.
- Pour dressing over kale and use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale. Don’t be shy!
- Add thinly sliced red onion and dried cherries. Toss to combine.
- If possible, make the salad a couple hours before you are going to eat, cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
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