Viroqua Food Co-op Recipe Blog

Becoming a Kale Convert

Posted byCharlene Elderkin on Thu, Jul 07, 2016 @ 06:30 AM

I must confess, no matter how much I was told that kale is “good for you,” the numerous prolific kale plants in my garden were eaten primarily by chickens. It was not a vegetable I grew up with nor did I find a way to prepare it that was satisfying enough to repeat.Kale-Lacinato-01.jpg

That changed with my son’s wedding. One of the dishes at the reception was this very Tuscan Kale Salad. I probably wouldn’t have tried it if I hadn’t donated a significant amount of kale from my garden to the cause. I could not believe how good it was.

I found the recipe on the website and started making a big batch once a week and eating it daily. I was incredulous at the difference between the taste of raw kale (blegh!) and this kale salad (yum!). Kale is perfect drizzled with this tangy-sweet dressing; the bitterness magically vanishes. Accent with crunchy nuts and savory cheese. And unlike lettuce salads, this one makes a great left-over, as marinating the leaves tenderizes them. I think it’s even better if you let it marinate overnight before eating, but you may not be able to resist. This year I can hardly wait to start harvesting kale from my garden.

Tuscan Kale Salad

Total Time: 15mins.  *  Servings: 4  *  Keeps up to 6 days, refrigerated

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (I use Organic Cherry Wood Aged Balsamic Vinegar)
1 Tbsp honey
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped (optional; I use only when in season)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 bunch kale (~10oz), stems removed, torn or cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1 ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved or grated


  • In large bowl, stir together balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic & basil. Whisk in olive oil & salt.
  • Add chopped kale & toss to coat. Top with almonds & grate or shave Parmesan over the salad, then serve.


  • The VFC Deli makes a version of this salad with walnuts, dried cranberries and no garlic or cheese. It’s equally yummy!

-This salad goes well with most Italian meals, from a pasta with tomato sauce to an herb-roasted chicken.

Tags: Kale