Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Kale Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing #recipe @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE: I love a classic green salad. But occasionally -- well, they can get a little bit routine. We love kale quick-sauteed with a dash of red pepper flakes and red vinegar, or in soups, like this Harvest Stew. I also shared this Crunchy Chickpea and Kale Salad. But we don’t often eat it raw.

I’d kept the link to a Williams Sonoma blog from a few years ago called 30 Days of Salads, so when I wanted something different, that’s where I started. Kale starred in two recipes, but this one caught my eye, in part because I also had part of a baguette of a French country bread I’d made. The salad is super easy, and yummy. If you’ve got other tasty croutons, you can skip that stage.

I made this pretty much as originally written. Kale is often sold in bags, already stemmed and cut, but you may find it sold in bunches. Either way is fine. In fact, the original called for twice the amount of kale and croutons in my version – a pound would have fed the neighborhood, and maybe stretched that dressing a bit thin, so I cut that. And I left out the teaspoon of anchovy paste because I’d have had to buy it and what would I have done with the rest of the tube? YMMV.

To stem the kale, rinse the leaves, then lay them flat, curved side down, and trim along the stem. Voila! Gather up the leaves and cut them cross-wise into ribbons. Some people advocate “massaging” your kale by rubbing the leaves between your hands before cutting to tenderize them, but I haven’t found that to make much difference.

Shaved Parmesan would look very nice, but use what you have. To my surprise, the croutons did not get soggy in the fridge overnight, but if you expect to have leftovers, you might hold back some of the croutons to keep them crisp.

Kale Salad with Creamy Lemon Dressing 

1 cup ½ inch cubes of country-style bread
olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ pound or one bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed and cut into ribbons, about ½ an inch wide
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons water
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon lemon zest
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Shaved or shredded Parmesan, or Parmegiano-Reggiano, for garnish

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut or tear the bread in cubes and place on baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and toast until golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Prepare the kale and tomatoes. Place the kale in a large serving bowl.

Make the dressing. Whisk together the mayonnaise, water, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, and zest, in a small bowl. An immersion blender is great, but not necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour about half the dressing on to the kale and mix to cat. Top with croutons, tomatoes, and cheese. Serve with the remaining dressing.

Served 4-6 as a side salad.

From the cover of AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #5 (Midnight Ink, June 2018, available for pre-order now):  

In Jewel Bay---Montana's Christmas Village---all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily’s turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.

When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. A past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. I'm happy to hear you tried kale with and without it's massage. It was a step I couldn't quite wrap my head around!

    1. Right? I've got a good woo-woo side, but that's an idea a bit too far for me!

  2. I love the prepackaged kale salads that include cabbage, Brussels sprouts and other stuff. I think I will go with one of them and make the other goodies, lol

    1. That combo would go nicely with this dressing, the tomatoes, cheese, and croutons. Enjoy!