Luann’s Kale Salad

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Luann’s Kale Salad is a crunchy, sweet, savory and delicious way to eat your greens!

There’s something about a personalized recipe title that always makes me sit up and pay attention. It’s like saying, this recipe is so good we’re going to honor the genius that came up with it by naming the damn thing after him or her!

(Past honorees featured on this blog include Grandpa’s Pasta Salad, Grandma’s Holiday Salad, and Judy’s Baked Beans (still don’t know who Judy is, btw.))

To me it also indicates that a dish has been tested and perfected to the point where someone’s willing to attach a friend or family member’s name to it, and share the deliciousness with the masses. Shout about it from the rooftops, even!

Make Luann’s Kale Salad! ← Just like that.

Luann is a dear friend of my Mom’s whom I have known for years. She is incredibly sweet and supportive of my blog and thought her ultra-healthy and delicious recipe for Kale Salad screamed Kristin!, so she sent it my way to try. Luann usually makes it for parties where she says people inhale plate after plate. Um…sign me up!

One bite of the hearty kale salad tossed with crispy apples, sweet dried cherries, salty peanuts, and zesty red onions, and I screamed Hallelujah! Luann’s Kale Salad is a MUST. TRY!

Start with a big bunch of kale. Give it a rinse and pat or spin dry, then tear the leaves off the thick steam and into bite-sized pieces. Did you know kale is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet? It’s true. Very high in antioxidants, calcium, and fiber. All the more reason to love Luann’s Kale Salad!

Place the kale into a big bowl, then add a sprinkling of salt and start massaging the leaves (ooh la la!) For real, you need to massage kale when eating it raw to break the leaves down a bit, making them easier to chew.

Two minutes(ish) later, the kale will be tender, dark green, and reduced by about 1/3 in volume.

Topping time! First add 1/4 cup minced red onion, then1/2 cup dried cherries. Dried cranberries or craisins would also work if you don’t have dried cherries on hand.

Next add 1 chopped apple and 1/4 cup chopped peanuts. You could use almonds, walnuts, or even sunflower seeds here instead. I started adding peanuts to my salads a couple years ago though, and have never looked back. Try it sometime!

K. Salad’s done – time to make a 30 second vinaigrette to drizzle on top. Simply whisk together 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (the best stuff you have) with 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in a small bowl.

Season with a little pepper (already have salt in the greens from the massage step) then pour over the kale, and toss everything to combine.

3 cheers for Luann!

Luann’s Kale Salad

Print this recipe!

Serves 2 as a light lunch or supper, or makes a big bowl for a party

Ingredients:
1 bunch kale
scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped OR 1 cup fresh pomegranate arils
1 apple, chopped
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped (could use walnuts, almonds or sunflower seeds)
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Pepper

Directions:

  1. Wash kale, then tear leaves from tough stems and pat dry. Cut or tear leaves into bite sized pieces then add to a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and massage with fingers for two minutes, or until kale is dark green and tender. Add red onion, dried cherries (or pomegranate arils,) chopped apple, and peanuts, then toss to combine.
  2. Combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, sugar, and pepper to taste in a small bowl or jar. Whisk or shake to combine then drizzle over kale salad and toss well.

I just love the variety of textures – chewy to crispy – and flavors – sweet to spicy – in this dish. Honest to goodness, it’s one of the best salads I’ve ever had!

My only regret is that I didn’t get the recipe sooner! I would have eaten it all summer long using the kale from my garden, but luckily it grows well into the fall, which means this salad will definitely become a lunchtime staple for at least the next couple of months.

Hope you’ll give Luann’s Kale Salad a try – and pass it on!

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