I am always looking for new salad ideas…it has become common practice for me each week to rotate the type of salad greens I use in my kitchen. I like to do this not only to have a healthy balance of greens but I have noticed it also helps maintain different & fresh flavors in my meals. When it’s kales week, this delectable green grape and kale salad is one of my absolute favorites to make. What I love even more is that the salad is packed with dense nutrients, fiber and antioxidants from the ingredients. The tangy flavor of the lemon honey dressing paired with sweet grapes and salty ricotta salata cheese make pure perfection. This salad is a hearty meal in itself and fun to note raw kale, unlike other salad greens, holds up much longer. This allows you to have any leftovers the next day with it being equally as fresh!
-1 cup organic green grapes
-2 large bunches organic kale (lacinato or dinosaur kale), ribs removed & chopped
-1/3 cup organic toasted slivered almonds
-1 tablespoon organic honey
-3 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
-1 organic lemon, squeezed
-ricotta salata cheese for topping
-salt & pepper to taste
Begin with washing your kale and removing the ribs. The ribs are very fibrous and not so easy to eat, especially in its raw form. Once your kale is washed, place it onto your cutting board. Bundle the kale altogether lengthwise and chop it into bit size pieces. Place your chopped kale into a large bowl.
Since raw kale is a bit more fibrous than most salad greens such as butter lettuce or spinach, we need to help break down the coarse leaves by massaging it. Yes, I said it, massaging! It sounds a bit silly although by doing this it creates a more delicate texture, allowing the raw kale to be more enjoyable and much easier to digest.
In order to soften it, go ahead and drizzle a little olive oil onto the kale (1 teaspoon) and add in a pinch of salt. Using your hands, massage the raw kale. Take handfuls of it, crunching and massaging all at the same time. You will quickly notice the color of the kale will begin to change to a deeper, darker green hue. It will also become softer to touch. Massage for 1 minute.
Once the kale is good and massaged, set aside.
For your dressing– in a small bowl add your honey, olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon. Add in a pinch of salt. Whisk together with a fork until all ingredients are combined. Set aside.
Go ahead and halve your grapes, add them to your kale. Add in your slivered almonds. Take your dressing and drizzle it over the salad. Note, you will likely not use all of the dressing so I recommend keeping the extra in your fridge to use at a later time. Lightly toss your salad to evenly coat all ingredients.
To serve, top with a few healthy slices of ricotta salata & freshly cracked pepper.
Tip: I like to switch it up & use either parmigiano reggiano or pecorino romano in place of the ricotta salata. Use your cheese of choice, it’s equally delicious!
Prep Time: 15 minutes