Baby Kale Salad
If you are bored of kale and quinoa (I am!), try baby kale! I am dead serious – baby kale tastes nothing like kale. Odd but true.
Last week, this baby kale salad was a breath of fresh air. With leftover brown rice, julienned sun dried tomatoes, sweet grape tomatoes from Mexico, toasted pine nuts, salty feta cheese, a crazy amount of fresh basil and homemade Greek vinaigrette. Nowadays, we use full grown kale for making smoothies and maybe an occasional sweet kale salad recipe because it is that good.
What Is Baby Kale?
When you set your foot into the produce department, be prepared to see 2 types of baby kale. Type 1 is like shown below – soft and delicate with round shape leaves. It reminds me of small raspberry leaves. Baby kale tastes nothing like real kale, instead it has a tiny amount of zest like arugula. I’m in love!
Type 2 baby kale looks like mini oak leaves with purple undertones, like in this Mexican kale salad. Usually can be found in Costco and Save on Foods (Canada). I personally prefer #1 (mine is from Superstore – Canada).
Baby Kale Salad Dressing:
About baby kale salad dressing.
I do not make my own salad dressings as often as I wish because my tastebuds are perfectly fine with a drizzle of olive oil, a splash of any vinegar like apple cider/balsamic/white, salt and pepper. Both, me and Alex, didn’t grow up with salad dressings, so we like to keep things simple on busy weeknights. However with berry season upon us (or Costco’s organic frozen berries right now) you absolutely have to give this berry salad dressing a try!
This time though I made the best salad dressing for baby kale salad – Greek type vinaigrette. In a week, we used it in numerous salads and on sandwiches. I keep a few glass bottles from store-bought salad dressings and reuse for making my own. Love it!
Tips for Best Baby Kale Salad:
- I prefer to use grape tomatoes in this baby kale salad recipe because they keep their juices intact vs. chopped regular tomatoes.
- Replace brown rice with cooked quinoa, farro or any other grain for a dose of healthy carbs.
- Grated feta cheese allows for more even distribution of flavor throughout the salad for a true Mediterranean experience in every bite.
- And toasted pine nuts, sun dried tomatoes and a handful of fresh basil was a call from the heart to make summer feel closer to us, as La Nina has no intention of leaving us just yet. Use what you have on hand.
- Add dried cranberries, pomegranate, apple, arugula, avocado.
More Tasty Kale Salad Recipes:
- Mexican kale salad everyone will love, even your grandma!
- Lemon kale salad with garlic and Parmesan will become your “default” kale salad.
- Sweet kale salad recipe is a healthy copycat version of store-bought kit.
- Kale salad with blueberries and quinoa is OMG good!
- Massaged kale salad with winter fruit
Baby Kale Salad
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large lemon zest and juice of (1/4 cup)
- 2 large garlic cloves grated
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
Baby Kale Salad Recipe:
- 5 oz 1 small package baby kale
- 3 cups grape tomatoes halved lengthwise
- 2 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
- 2 cups feta cheese grated
- 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes thinly sliced*
- 1/2 cup pine nuts toasted**
- 1/2 cup basil finely chopped
- In any small glass container with a lid, combine Greek Vinaigrette Ingredients and whisk or shake well to combine (time when store-bought salad dressing bottles come in handy). Set aside.
- In a large salad bowl, add Baby Kale Salad Ingredients, pour about 1/5th of the Greek dressing (later more to taste) and gently toss to mix.
Store: Refrigerate dressed salad covered for up to 2 days. Salad dressing can keep well for a few weeks. Place bottled dressing in a cup with hot water to “melt” solidified in the fridge olive oil.
- *I used julienned sun dried tomatoes packed in oil. I recommend to drain and squeeze them well otherwise it will be just too much oil in a salad when combined with the dressing.
- **To toast pine nuts, just add them to a skillet and panfry on low heat until toasted, watching carefully and stirring occasionally. Takes about 3 minuets or so.
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