The secret to a good kale salad is chopping it up well enough that it’s shredded. This helps to absorb the flavor of the dressing and allows your knife to do more work than your muscles of mastication! I prefer to plant or buy large dinosaur kale (aka Lacinato) because it’s more delicate than traditional curly kale and it has a milder flavour.
FOR THE SALAD AND DRESSING:
- 2 medium bunches de-stemmed lacinato/dinosaur kale, finely chopped (8 to 9 cups/300 to 340 g chopped)
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh lemon juice
- 3 to 4 tablespoons (45 to 60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (just eyeball it)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup (35 to 70 g) dried sweetened cranberries, for garnish
FOR THE PECAN PARMESAN:
- 1 cup (120 g) pecan halves, toasted
- 1 1/2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 pinches fine sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 300°F. Spread the pecans onto a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes until fragrant and lightly golden.
- Remove the stems from the kale and discard. Finely chop the kale leaves (the smaller, the better).
- Wash the kale and spin dry. Place dried kale into a large bowl.
- Dressing: In a mini food processor, process the garlic until minced. Now add the lemon, oil, salt, and pepper and process until combined. Adjust to taste, if desired. Pour the dressing onto the kale and mix it into the kale with your hands or toss with spoons. Keep mixing for about 1 minute to ensure everything is coated perfectly.
- Pecan Parmesan: Rinse out the mini processor and pat dry. Add the pecans into the processor and process until the pecans are the size of peas or a bit larger. Now add in the nutritional yeast, oil, and salt and process again until it has a coarse crumb texture. Be sure not to overprocess—we still want a nice crunchy texture here, not powder.
- Sprinkle the Pecan Parmesan all over the salad. Toss on a handful or two of dried cranberries. Wrap and place in the fridge for 30 to 60 minutes to soften, or you can simply enjoy it right away. In the past, I’ve tried letting this salad sit overnight in the fridge and I greatly prefer the [Text Box: 1 flavour] of the salad served the day of, so I don’t recommend making this salad the day before and letting it sit in the fridge overnight.
- Instead of a mini processor, you can chop/whisk the dressing and pecan “Parmesan” by hand.
- For a nut-free version, try using breadcrumbs instead of pecans.