Lacinato Kale and Mint Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing

By • June 28, 2012 88 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.
The Editors

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.

More Great Recipes: Kale|Vegetables|Salads

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Comments (88) Questions (0)


23 days ago Scribbles

Made this for lunch today topped with fresh tomatoes from my garden - excellent. Love the peanut dressing with the mint and the crunch from the kale and walnuts - satisfies all those senses...thanks!


26 days ago inflytur

This is a great recipe. Try it even if you think you don't like kale.
Looking at the photo, the kale seems to be a bit softened, to wilted, which makes it tastier and easier to eat. I wonder if instructions left out I step that I have learned to do automatically with kale salads - massaging the kale.
Simply crush the cut kale with your hands to soften it up a bit. Doing this after you have put on some dressing makes sure the it gets well dispersed in the salad.
I like an earlier suggestion of adding dried cranberries to add sweetness. I added fresh pomegranate seeds.


2 months ago Sheila Ehlers

I had a tough time finding the pomegranate molasses myself. Ended up making it with an Alton Brown recipe. Easy... just time consuming.


9 months ago Sandra Botteselle

Oh yeah -looking good!!


10 months ago cream cheese

Oh, yum. I made this twice in a row, I was that excited. I might even be in love. This is serious. This first time I followed the directions except for substituting crunchy peanut butter, brown sugar (for pomegranate molasses which for the life of my I cannot track down), and a whole Thai chili pepper (I like I mouth on fire). I skipped the walnuts because I didn't have any. The second time I made it, I made a mixed salad of kale, cukes, tomatoes, and onions. Yum, yum, yum. I think I'll put this sauce on like EVERYTHING from now on (stir fry? steamed veggies? chicken marinade?). Happiness.


about 1 year ago Shine

I made this with crunchy peanut butter for the dressing and left out the walnuts, squeezed in half a lime and used a mix of curly and lacinato kale as I didn't have quite enough of the latter in the garden. The mint is a nice accent flavour.


about 1 year ago Remy Smith DeVito

I have done the dish with cashews because the buttery, mellow quality is very nice. I would imagine chopped peanuts would taste complementary as well.


about 1 year ago NC Foodie

For those of us that don't care for walnuts, any suggestions for alternative? Pine nuts ? Pecans ? I'm not an intuitive cook when it comes to substitutions. Thanks for ideas!


about 1 year ago dymnyno

Since there is no bacon or sweet smokey meat in this recipe I used walnuts, but you could use any full flavored nut like pecans or almonds. I wouldn't use pine nuts because they might get too mushy when chopped (like pesto).


over 1 year ago Lemongrass&Lime

Made the dressing by itself and used it to top brown rice, steamed greens and grilled chicken for dinner. It was quite delicious and very easy. Will make again.


over 1 year ago gillianknitsalot

This is SO delicious- made it for my husband & father in law & both thought it was amazing and as heavy meat eaters were surprised at how filling it is too.


over 1 year ago Judy

Made this last night, excellent! It tastes good the next day also.


over 1 year ago oregon cassie

Loved this salad! Had to leave out the walnuts because of allergies. Would like to add the crunch next time, what nut would you suggest as a replacement? Wondering what would go well with the yummy peanut dressing.....


over 1 year ago Margie Krause

Yes, Remy...grew up on cilantro...good on or in almost anything! Can take the place of many green, leafy herbs.


over 1 year ago Remy Smith DeVito

I just bulk up the kale a bit when i'm out of mint. Anyone ever try cilantro?


over 1 year ago Morgan Gay

Can I replace the mint with something? I am not a fan of mint at all but love kale and peanut dressing


over 1 year 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....


over 1 year ago dymnyno

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


almost 2 years 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...


over 1 year ago Janex

Freezing kale prior to suing it will soften it up a lot.


over 1 year ago Janex



about 2 years ago Lenore Davies

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


about 2 years 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!


about 2 years 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.