Kitchen Garden to Table
Published May 12, 2020 by Nicole Burke

How to Make a Kale Salad (You Actually Want to Eat)

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kitchen garden to table
salad garden
kale
How to Make a Kale Salad You Actually Want to Eat with Nicole Burke of Gardenary

Sure, you've had kale salad before.

But have you ever had a kale salad that you actually enjoyed eating?

I'm waiting...

kale harvest

Kale Salad

Today, for the Kitchen-Garden-to-Table Series with Le Creuset, I'm sharing a Brassica Family Salad—kale included.

The trick to creating a kale salad you actually want to eat is growing your own kale. (You knew I was going to say that, didn't you?)

Most of our country's kale is trucked across the US from California to your plate, which means the varieties you're eating have been bred to hold up for long road trips and lots of time on refrigerated shelves.

Sound appetizing? I didn't think so.

But good news: Kale is one of the easiest things to grow in your kitchen garden, and the taste is so much better than the grocery store varieties, you'll actually want to eat this good stuff.

Kale Salad You Actually Want to Eat by Nicole Burke with Le Creuset

Kitchen garden dishes based on plant families

For this fun kitchen-garden-to-table series with Le Creuset, I created recipes based around plant families.

In my book, Kitchen Garden Revival, you'll learn how to plant your kitchen garden based on plant families, and most plants in most families grow together in the garden simultaneously. So, it just makes sense to cook these plants together too, don't you think?

For this recipe, we'll focus on the Brassica family, aka the "super healthy dark leafy green family."

How to Make Kale Salad You Actually Want to Eat with Nicole Burke of Gardenary and Le Creuset

What plants are in the brassica family?

The Brassicaceae family is filled with all those dark leafy greens we all love to hate. You know the ones: kales, mustards, brussel sprouts. 

Brassicaceae includes:

Kale

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Romanesco

Brussel Sprouts

Mustard

Mizuna

Radishes

Arugula 

Here's a family portrait of the Brassica family from my book, Kitchen Garden Revival, taken by Eric Kelley

Brassica Family as Pictured in the Kitchen Garden Revival written by Nicole Burke of Gardenary

There are so many ways you could create a brassica-themed salad. Just look at all these yummy possibilities, from the broccoli to the kale to the radishes and kohlrabi. 

I kept my kale salad fairly simple (because you know that's how I do my kitchen time), but feel free to add or subtract from this based on what you’re pulling from your kitchen garden or can find fresh at the farmer’s market. 

How to Make a Kale Salad You Actually Want to Eat with Nicole Burke of Gardenary and Le Creuset

If you use my planting plan methods, you’ll have loads of kale in the center of your kitchen garden.

These plants take longer to grow to maturity but will give you harvest after harvest of delicious dark greens you can use as a base for so many great salads. 

Radishes and arugula are small plants and can be planted on the outside border of your kitchen garden. Radishes can be harvested within 45 days of planting from seed, and you can harvest arugula greens as sprouts or baby greens in just about the same amount of time. Arugula tastes best when you can cut fresh small leaves, so if you’ve tried the grocery variety and don’t love it, don’t give up until you try it from the garden. 

How to Make a Kale Salad You Actually Want to Eat in a Kitchen Garden to Table Series with Le Creuset and Nicole Burke

Kale and Brassica Salad Ingredients 

Salad Ingredients:

  • Toscano Kale Leaves
  • Blue Scotch Curled Leaves
  • Red Russian Kale Leaves
  • Fresh Radishes
  • Baby Arugula
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Sunflowers or Cashews

Dressing Ingredients:

  • Local Honey
  • EVOO
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
Use several different varieties of kale for this brassica salad created by Nicole Burke of Gardenary for Le Creuset

Directions

Step one

Finely chop the three varieties of kale as the base of your salad.

How to Make a Kale Salad You Actually Want to Eat by Nicole Burke for Le Creuset Kitchen Garden to Table

Step two

Use a mandarin slicer to create very thin radish slices and work into your kale greens.

Radishes go well with kale in a Brassica Salad created by Nicole Burke of Gardenary

Step three

Cut baby arugula or arugula microgreens to top the salad.

Step four

Top with dried cranberries or cherries and your choice of nuts.

Top Kale Salad with Nuts and Dried Cranberries or Cherries
Want this look for your own kitchen garden to table experience?

Go Garden to Table with These Dishes

This Everyday Enamelware from Le Creuset is so fun to bring from the kitchen garden into the kitchen and onto the table.

Step five

Use equal parts local honey, EVOO, and apple cider vinegar to make the kale salad dressing, and shake vigorously to mix.

Lightly dress the salad and mix in thoroughly.

How to make kale salad you actually want to eat with Nicole Burke of Gardenary and Le Creuset

Serve the salad right away or wrap and store in the fridge to allow the dressing to soften the kale leaves and the flavors to come together.

How to Make Kale Salad You Actually Want to Eat by Nicole Burke of Gardenary

You can get fancy with this salad and roast some brussels sprouts in oil and balsamic vinegar to top it off, or add in some roasted broccoli or cauliflower. When you bite into the brassica salad, you’re doing so many good things for your body, and you’ll be surprised how much you suddenly love kale. I promise!

Ready to set up your own kitchen garden?

Learn to Grow Kale and So Much More

Read the book that started the kitchen garden revival.