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
Curly kale, center ribs and stems removed, washed, dried, and chopped finely
1 1/2 tablespoons
Apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Puy or beluga lentils, (substitute brown lentils if they’re what you have), rinsed and picked over
Whisk together olive oil, apricot preserves, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, sea salt, and black pepper.
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.
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.
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.
Gena is a registered dietitian, recipe developer, and food blogger. She's the author of three cookbooks, including Power Plates (2017) and Food52 Vegan (2015). She enjoys cooking vegetables, making bread, and challenging herself with vegan baking projects.