A Kale Salad That Tastes So Good You Can Actually Eat It

I have been lying to myself for ages that kale tastes good. I’ve put it in green juices and snuck it into veggie soups just because I know it’s good for me and I need to combat the ton of wine I drink on a weekly basis. But lo and behold… this salad tastes fricking fantastic.

I based it on this salad from Smitten Kitchen. It has everything you want in a great salad. There is texture, saltiness, acid and crunch. I have made it three times in a row this week and I am still not sick of it. I’ve added extra avo on top which was a delight, ribbons of pecorino which was superb and another time some feta on top. So play around and add your favourite touches, but the bones of this baby are GOOD.

Kale & Cranberry Salad | The Secret Life of Bee

Kale & Cranberry Salad with Toasted Almonds & Garlic Crumb

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale (about 400g)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 cup panko or coarse breadcrumbs
  • 1 small clove garlic, grated fine on a microplane
  • 2 spring onions
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt flakes
  • Olive oil
  • Sherry vinegar

Method:

Prep kale by washing it and removing the stems and any tough ribs. Pat it dry. Layer a few leaves at a time, roll them up and then slice them very finely. Place the shredded kale into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle it with a little olive oil and lemon juice and massage it well. Set aside.

Place the cranberries in a small saucepan and pour in the vinegar and water. Bring them to a simmer. Switch off the heat and leave them in that liquid to plump up.

Combine the breadcrumbs with the grated garlic, a good pinch of sea salt and a little olive oil, about 2 tsp. Toast this in a dry pan until golden brown and the garlic smells super fragrant.

Place the almonds on a baking tray and toast them for 7 minutes at 180˚C. Allow to cool and then give them a rough chop.

Finely slice the spring onions.

Assemble the salad by adding the chopped almonds, drained cranberries and spring onions to the large mixing bowl. If it needs it- add another drizzle of olive oil and a touch of Sherry vinegar. Sprinkle in half of the garlic breadcrumbs. Toss well. Season. Plate the salad and then sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs on top and enjoy every single bite!

*Deb from Smitten adds crumbled pecorino to hers. I used a speed peeler and added ribbons of pecorino to one version of this. But as I said it is delish as is and you can also add your own flair to it. Enjoy!

Kale & Cranberry Salad | The Secret Life of Bee

fig & goat’s cheese salad

Fig & Goat's Cheese Salad | The Secret Life of Bee

One of my favourite chefs on earth is Yotam Ottolenghi and the man can write a seriously good cookbook or ten. Plenty is a vegetarian filled masterpiece with an entire chapter dedicated to ‘The Mighty Aubergine.” It is jam packed with inspirational ideas of ways to cook and serve veggies you would never have dreamed of. This fig and goat’s cheese salad hails from this recipe book and is one of the most beautifully simple but flavourful salads.

Fig & Goat's Cheese Salad | The Secret Life of Bee

I’ve put my own spin on this classic combination and it’s a winner. I also added some apple cider vinegar to his dressing as the acidity is perfectly balanced by the sweet figs and cuts through the richness of the goat’s cheese. This aint no ordinary goat’s cheese either. This is the good stuff. Super creamy and luxurious, Chavroux is my favourite brand of goat’s cheese. Treat yourself to the Aston Martin of goat’s cheeses! I’m a wee bit obsessed. Can you tell?

Fig & Goat's Cheese Salad | The Secret Life of Bee

Fig & Goat’s Cheese Salad

serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 80g mixed baby leaves
  • 10 ripe figs
  • 150g creamy goat’s cheese
  • 20g mixed purple and green basil
  • mixed sprouts
  • edible flowers

For the dressing:

  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Method:

Combine all dressing ingredients except for the olive oil.

Slowly pour in the olive oil and whisk until the dressing comes together homogeneously.

Mix the baby leaves and basil together in a large serving dish. Cut the figs into quarters and arrange over the leaves. Scatter dollops of goat’s cheese around the figs as well as the mixed sprouts and edible flowers.

Drizzle the salad with the dressing and some fresh olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper.

Fig & Goat's Cheese Salad | The Secret Life of Bee

Fig & Goat's Cheese Salad | The Secret Life of Bee

Fig & Goat's Cheese Salad | The Secret Life of Bee

*Disclaimer: Sexy salad bowl courtesy of Sugar and Vice