It’s easy to forget to include raw vegetables in late autumn and winter, and a seasonal kale salad is a nice way to include that raw veg in your diet. If you’re feeling like your meals are getting a bit blah – which can certainly happen in wintertime – a fresh salad can brighten things up again.
As an extra bonus, kale is sweeter after a frost, so it’s the ideal winter garden vegetable. I’m a big fan of kale (the Oldenburg area in Germany, where I lived, celebrates kale for months at a time in winter). A sprinkling of dried fruit, seeds or nuts, and a simple balsamic vinaigrette make this salad well worth adding into your rotation.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Kale: use any variety and colour of kale. Lacinato or cavolo nero has a more tender texture and you may prefer it. Other types of kale are typically more cold-weather hardy, though, so it may depend on the time of year.
- Cranberries: substitute raisins or another dried fruit you like. Fresh fruit like pomegranate or apple pieces can be nice too.
- Seeds: use any mix of seeds or nuts that you like. Walnuts and hazelnuts are particularly good if you’re feeling fancy, but I almost always use less pricey seeds.
- Vinaigrette: this is a simple balsamic vinaigrette. Use any vinaigrette (not a creamy dressing) you like, and add any extras like spices or herbs that you think would be good. Try fresh grated ginger, a little garlic, sumac, parsley, and so on.
Step by Step
Step 1: add all of the ingredients but the seeds and fruit to a large mixing bowl.
Step 2: use your hands to mix very well, massaging the leaves until softened. Mix in the extras and serve or refrigerate for later.
Keep cut kale wrapped in damp tea towel in the refrigerator to keep it fresh for several days. Kale is one of those vegetables that attracts snails and slugs like mad, so a very good wash is a good idea.
The leaves will be more chewy than crunchy, but should be quite tender after massaging. It’s pretty similar to wilted kale (in a pan, not simply old kale) in texture.
How to Store
Keep the salad in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to three days. It will soften a little more as it stores, so if you like that, make it in advance.
- Leave the stems: I don’t recommend including the stems in the salad unless you want a very crunchy salad with bits that really get stuck in your teeth. Kale stems are hard, rather harder than chard.
- Add sweetness: the dried fruit is key to this recipe. If you don’t like dried fruit, use fresh, but don’t leave it out altogether.
- Mix in extras: the salad without any add-ins, like the seeds, is boring. Try mixing in shredded vegetables like carrot or beetroot, or adding a crumbly cheese to the mix.
If you make this Easy Kale Salad or any other vegetarian sides on Occasionally Eggs, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more OE, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, purchase the Occasionally Eggs cookbook, or subscribe for new posts via email.
Winter Kale Salad
- 1 large bunch kale washed well, stems removed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar to taste, reduce if preferred
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon honey or maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt to taste
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper to taste
- 50 grams dried cranberries or raisins
- 50 grams nuts or seeds toast if preferred
- Tear the kale into pieces and add to a large bowl. Add the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, and spices.1 large bunch kale, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard, ½ teaspoon honey, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Use your hands to massage the vinaigrette into the kale for a couple of minutes, or until the kale has wilted and softened. It should reduce in size by about half.
- Add the fruit and seeds, and mix again to combine. You can serve the salad immediately, or store it in the refrigerator for up to three days.50 grams dried cranberries, 50 grams nuts or seeds
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.