Raw Kale Salad with Lentils and Sweet Apricot Vinaigrette

By • June 11, 2012 23 Comments

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Author Notes: If you've never tried kale salad before, here's the trick: you "massage" your greens with dressing. This helps to wilt the kale ever so slightly, and if you can get over the hilarity of tenderly rubbing down a vegetable, you'll quickly understand why raw kale salads are all the rage. This particular salad is elevated and made heartier with lentils--which are a great and protein packed way to transform everyday salad into more of a meal. If you'd like, you can add some cooked new potatoes, or serve the dish with a hearty slice of grain bread and hummus. Gena Hamshaw

Serves 4-6

  • 2 bunches Curly kale, center ribs and stems removed, washed, dried, and chopped finely
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Apricot preserves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Sea salt
  • 1 pinch Black pepper
  • 1 cup Puy or beluga lentils, (substitute brown lentils if they’re what you have), rinsed and picked over
  • 1 cup Red cabbage, shredded
  1. Whisk together olive oil, apricot preserves, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper.
  2. Turn kale into a large mixing bowl, and massage 6 T of the dressing into the salad. You’ll need enough dressing for the salad to be well coated and start taking on a “wilted” texture. Set aside.
  3. Place lentils in a small saucepan with enough water to cover them by 3-4 inches (approximately 2 1/2 cups). Bring water to a boil, then reduce heat, add a pinch of salt, and let the lentils simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but not mushy.
  4. Allow lentils to cool slightly and add them, along with the cabbage, to the kale, and add another 2 T vinaigrette. Use hands to combine. Add extra dressing as needed, and season to taste.

More Great Recipes: Kale Salad|Lentils|Cabbage|Ribs|Kale

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Comments (23) Questions (0)


over 1 year ago tanteilonka

Salad good but a little bland. Next time: use white wine or white balsamic vinegar for the vinaigrette; cool lentils in chicken or veggie broth; add slivered red onion and/or feta. (Used 1 bag of TJ's kale for 6 guests, had leftovers)


almost 2 years ago Mark

This is a great salad! I added roasted butternut squash and red quinoa. Delish!


over 2 years ago MF

What's your thought on putting a handful of kale on a cutting board, placing a piece of paper towel over top then lightly 'massaging' with a rolling pin?


over 2 years ago Mamazz

my family loves this!- I added toasted walnuts and feta


over 2 years ago Caroline Moassessi



over 2 years ago MaryDD

I really loved this salad! So simple and delicious and it holds up well the next day. I pulsed my dressing in the blender so that there wouldn't be any lumps. Chopping the kale small makes it a lot nicer to eat as well.


over 2 years ago Dee264

Made this for lunch. Added a handful of roasted sunflower seeds and orange flavored dried cranberries to it. Outstanding! Thank you!


over 2 years ago Susie B. Steiner

very interesting !


almost 3 years ago enbe

This is suspiciously delicious for how simple it is. Reviews included "this is actually good" from someone who turns up his nose at "rabbit food" and "best kale salad I've had." Thanks for the recipe!
The preserves I used had some pretty large chunks of apricot which really added to the salad.


almost 3 years ago taniagoulart

would this work just as well with dino kale?


about 3 years ago LadyDiTejas

Made this last week, and had to sub blackberry preserves for apricot, as well as white/green cabbage for red, but it was super delicious none the less. Thank you; enjoying and inspired by your contributions here!


about 3 years ago db7

I made this recipe tonight and substituted the apricot preserve with sauteed peaches and apricots leftover from brunch, it was delicious!


about 3 years ago sheredel

this sounds like dinner tonight! because I already have left over cooked black, or forbidden rice going to use that in place of lentils...thank you for inspiration.


about 3 years ago Celestyyne

Had to add my praise to the crowd - this salad is fantastic! The puy lentils add heartiness to the salad and the cabbage delivers a great crunch factor. I've made this a couple of times now and have been saving a portion in the fridge for a next-day lunch. Thank you for sharing!


about 3 years ago Vstarr71

So yummy! I didn't have the apricot preserves, so I used canned mandarin oranges, drained, with a little honey and added almonds! A huge hit:)


about 3 years ago joannajw

How long do you massage the kale and do you have to do piece by piece or can you just mush up handfuls?


about 3 years ago Gena Hamshaw

Handfuls is just fine!


about 3 years ago Andreakat

I made this tonight and added golden raisins and slivered almonds. It was delicious. I used my homemade apricot jam-which was low sugar so the raisins added a little extra sweetness. The almonds gave it a little more crunch. Love it!!


about 3 years ago Gena Hamshaw

So delighted that you enjoyed the recipe!


about 3 years ago Melissafitz

The apricot/olive oil dressing for this salad is amazing! I made a very simplified version of this for fathers day -- just kale, sliced shallots & the dressing and it was a huge hit.


about 3 years ago Roselee Wayman

Undoubtedly raw food and especially kale is wonderful for you. However if you have gone this far to make a recipe largely raw, why put apricot perserves in the dressing which has probably has sugar in it. I would make this with raw honey or some other more natural sweetener which will give you a similar results.


about 3 years ago Manhattan Tart

I LOVED this salad. I've found -- thanks to a terrific article in the LA Times by Russ Parsons -- that massaging the kale with ONLY the salt called for in the recipe works best; the kale wilts faster and more thoroughly without the oil added yet. That said, I massaged it with 1/2 tsp kosher salt (sea salt is too coarse), then made the remaining dressing and tossed it afterwards. Also, ANY type of lentil benefits from a 15 minute soak in room temp water, then bring to a soft boil & cook. ZERO mushiness, totally uniform cooking. Loved the apricot preserves in this; it'd be good w/ orange marmalade, too, I think. And toasted walnuts!


about 3 years ago Gena Hamshaw

So glad that you enjoyed it so much!