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My Favorite Kale Salad

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Easy but takes some time

My Favorite Kale Salad

The Best Kale Salad | Something New For Dinner I found this recipe by Sarah Jampel in my Bon Appetit feed and was intrigued. It included a lot of my favorite ingredients: French or beluga lentils, massaged kale, feta cheese, toasted almonds and Castelvetrano green olives. It also 300+ awesome ratings. I had to try it. My husband rated it in the top 10 salads I have ever made and I agree. It is a sturdy salad, that can be eaten for a few days, so feel free to increase the quantities. You will be sad when you take the last bite. I love it the next morning for breakfast with an egg on top. It is great with a little grilled chicken. I've also taken it on an airplane for a healthy in-the-air meal. Bottom line -- give this healthy and addictively delicious salad a try.

I Simplified the Recipe Considerably

As amazing as this kale salad recipe is, the instructions are quite confusing and tend to jump back and forth between steps. The comments on the original recipe repeatedly mention the confusing format. I've rewritten the instructions and simplified them considerably. Even without the simplified instructions, I'd say the salad is so good that it is worth plunging in and making. I do make a few ingredient changes, but the essence of this kale salad recipe is true to the way Sarah Jampel wrote it. It is simply a genius combination of flavors and textures.

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Massaged Kale Salad

I learned to massage kale years ago. Massaging kale magically transforms kale from a difficult to eat ruffage into a silky edible green. This recipe just uses kosher salt to massage the kale, but you can also massage kale with olive oil, lemon juice or even some avocado. Check out my other massaged kale salad recipes at the bottom of the article.

French de Puy or Beluga Lentils

Either French de Puy green lentils or black Beluga lentils are a must for this salad. They are smaller, firmer, tastier and hold their shape better than traditional lentils. You can buy both French de Puy and Beluga lentils on Amazon. Once you try them you will see why they are so important. I cook them in chicken broth for added flavor. My favorite chicken broth is Zoup chicken broth, either the plain broth or the bone broth.


Feta is made from a variety of milks including cow, sheep and goat. There are also different styles of feta depending on the country -- Greek, Danish, Bulgarian, Australian, but my favorite is French feta. French feta is made from 100% sheep milk and is very creamy and less salty than Greek feta. I recommend experimenting with different types to find your favorite. I also recommend buying it in slabs in brine as opposed to crumbled or in dry packs. The brine intensifies the flavor and extends shelf life. Print

My Favorite Kale Salad

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This addictive massaged kale salad created by Sarah Jampel will last for several days in the fridge and is great for packing a lunch. Make a big batch and enjoy for multiple meals.



For the lentils:=

  • Splash of olive oil
  • 1 shallot finely minced
  • 1 1/2 cups French de Puy lentils or black Beluga lentils, rinsed
  • 1 quart chicken stock

For the kale:

For the dressing and almonds:

  • 34 scallions sliced white parts separated from green
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 4 strips of lemon peel from a single lemon, reserving the lemon for later
  • 1/2 cup good olive oil
  • 1 cup blanched, slivered almond
  • 1 T whole cumin seeds
  • 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes

For the salad:

  • Green onion slices (reserved from the dressing)
  • 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup green pitted Castelvetrano olives, roughly chopped
  • Lemon juice from one lemon (reserved from peeled lemon used in dressing)


For the lentils:

  1. Put a splash of olive oil in the bottom of a 2 – 3 quart sauce pan and heat on medium heat. Add minced shallots and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until shallots soften. Add lentils and cook for another 2 – minutes, stirring.

Add 1 quart of chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until lentils are al dente, firm, but cooked through. Drain any remaining  liquid and set aside.

For the kale:

  1. Remove the spines of the kale with your fingers. You can roast these for snacks if you wish or discard. My dogs happen to love kale spines. Gather the kale into a bunch and chop it with a large knife until the kale is ini 1 – 2″ pieces.
  2. Place kale into a large bowl with a generous pinch of kosher salt and begin massaging it. Grap handfuls of kale and roll it around between your fingers until the kale darkens in color and becomes smooth and silky. This will take a couple minutes. Set aside.
  3. Put the white slices of the green onion, the smashed garlic and the lemon peel in a skillet. Add the olive oil and heat on medium heat for a few minutes until the garlic begins to color and the lemon slices curl.
  4. Add the sliced almonds and cook another 2 – 3 minutes until the almonds begin to brown, stirring to prevent burning. Remove from heat and add cumin seeds and red pepper flakes, stirring to combine. The hot oil will bloom the spices and release their flavors.
  5. Let cool a couple minutes then strain the almond and garlic mixture from the oil, reserving the oil for the dressing. Spread the almond mixture on a paper towel-lined plate and season with a good pinch of kosher salt. The almonds will become crunchy as they cool.



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