Lacinato Kale and Mint Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

By • June 28, 2012 • 70 Comments

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Author Notes: I try to incorporate kale into our diet as much as possible. Lacinato kale which is sometimes called dinosaur kale is my favorite. Mixed with fresh mint from the garden it makes a salad that I have become addicted to. The dressing works with other salads too.dymnyno

Food52 Review: WHO: dymnyno is a vintner and winery cook at a vineyard in California.
WHAT: This salad has it all: sturdy greens that won't wilt, and a spicy peanut dressing that'll steal the show.
HOW: Chop kale, mix dressing, and toss.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Sure, we've seen kale salads in countless iterations, but this spicy, peanutty dressing lets us see the green through a different lens. Plus, the salad will hold up well in the fridge, making it a great dish for summer entertaining.

Serves 4/2

Lacinato Kale and Fresh Mint Salad

  • 1 bunch (large) lacinato kale, chopped very small, almost minced
  • 1 cup fresh mint, minced
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped

Spicy Peanut Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons smooth natural peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
  1. Toss the chopped kale, chopped mint and the walnuts together. If you haven't made the dressing yet, do that next.
  2. Put the peanut butter, warm water, garlic, rice wine vinegar, pomegranate molasses, soy sauce, minced ginger, sesame oil and red chili flakes into a blender and whirl away at high speed until everything is smooth.
  3. Toss the dressing with the salad. Maybe not all at one time. Pour and toss about half of the dressing and then decide if it needs more.

Comments (70) Questions (0)


3 months ago KOKelley

This salad is a staple in our house. I love everything about it - fresh crunchy kale, the brightness of the mint and the creamy, tangy, sweet, spicy (not too) peanut dressing. I normally make a double batch of everything and just dress the amount we will eat right away. I then manage to sneak in several bowls of the leftovers over the next few days....


3 months ago dymnyno

Thanks, KO! I love this salad, even though kale is declared to be one of the food fads of 2013.


7 months ago fearlessem

I tried this tonight and while I really loved the concept, I just didn't love the end product. But it may be that it turns out I don't love raw kale, as the dressing was fantastic -- I actually licked every drop from the mason jar I made it in (used a stick blender, which worked great). I thought the kale would wilt more, but my kale -- despite being baby leaves -- stayed very stout even an hour later...


9 months ago Lenore Davies

I added a handful of chopped craisins to this recipe and it was delicious!


10 months ago khyatt

This was really good.I had some leftover sauce, and more kale, so the next day I sauteed the kale with garlic and rice wine vinegar, then mixed in the sauce. It was great warm too!


10 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

How did I miss this? Congratulations on the wildcard. Can't wait to try it.


10 months ago EmilyC

I absolutely love this salad, one of the best kale salads I've ever tasted. Made it tonight alongside thirschfeld's oven braised buttermilk chicken with za'atar. I only make a handful of recipes again and again, and this will be one of them. Congrats on your much deserved Wildcard win!


10 months ago Rae Rondeau Weeks

Made this tonight. As promised, this has an addictive flavor. The mint and pomegranate molasses was a fantastic flavor combination. The heat level was not for the faint of heart. Will be making this again but I think I may decrease the red pepper a bit.


10 months ago Marci Liroff

Pomegranate molasses? Where do you find that? Thanks! Looks good!


10 months ago dymnyno

I have found pomegranate molasses in my local grocery in the ethnic food area. I see that you are in LA so you should have not problem. Whole Foods probably has it.


10 months ago Kimster

I found the pomegranate molasses at a Mediterranean Bakery & Deli for only $3.99!


10 months ago Vic Kostiuk

This is fantastic. Added some pomegranate to the mix for colour and what was planned for left overs was gone even with fussy eaters. Recommend this.


10 months ago Remy Smith DeVito

Extremely satisfying! Does the dressing translate well with noodles or fish? I would think so but am wondering if anyone has given that a go


10 months ago drollins

I will be making this salad for the rest of my life. Thank you so much.


10 months ago LauriL

I second that!!


10 months ago mbj913

good. added sesame seeds.


10 months ago ItalianFoodie

This is great with baby ale; less massaging needed!


10 months ago TasteFood

This looks fantastic. I have so much kale in my refrigerator right now, and will make this salad asap.


10 months ago Jlwmuse

Sounds delicious! Making this for lunches next week- would you add the dressing the night before, or right when you are ready to eat?


10 months ago LauriL

Definitely wait until you're ready to eat it! I made it on Friday for a book club gathering that night and had one serving leftover.
Saturday the salad was a soggy mess. I salvaged the walnuts though and and put them on a fresh salad for lunch.


10 months ago LauriL

BTW, everyone loved it and asked me to make it for another event this coming Saturday!! I made the pomagranite molasses from scratch as I didn't have access to an Indian market.I halved the juice to only two cups ($6.99!!) and it took 2 hours to reduce to a mere half cup. I've been using the leftover molasses to mix with cold seltzer and it is sooo refreshing!


10 months ago themissingingredient

I used a light hand with the salad dressing (as dymnyno suggests) and my salad held up for the second day. Maybe it was because I had a lot left and the dressing drained a little to the bottom of the bowl?


11 months ago walkie74

Question: would bok choy greens be able to handle this?


11 months ago cookbooksareforeveryone

Great lunch. Notes to the un- initiated kale user. The fibers of raw kale need to be broken down a bit. I suggest "massaging" the cleaned chopped kale for a few minutes with a bit of salt and lemon juice. Also, if you toast your walnuts before adding them to the kale, the warm nuts help to soften the raw kale. Pomegrante seeds or slivers of kumquat add color and zest to the great recipe.


11 months ago cookinginvictoria

Congratulations on the WC win, dymnyno! So excited to make this . . . I have kale and mint ready to harvest right now in my garden. And that peanut dressing sounds fabulous. Lovely recipe for a late spring dinner. :)


11 months ago The Fiery Epicurean

Amazingly delicious salad when your kale and mint plants have taken over the garden! Only modification is that I added an extra TBSP of peanut butter to thicken it up a little.


11 months ago dymnyno

If you want the dressing to be thicker, just skip the addition of warm water.


11 months ago gingerroot

Woo-hoo!! Congrats on the well deserved wildcard dymnyno! This looks fabulous and I can't wait to make it.