Make Ahead

Raw Kale Salad with Lentils and Sweet Apricot Vinaigrette

June 11, 2012
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4-6
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

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • fuhsi
  • Änneken
  • tanteilonka
  • Mamazz
  • Caroline Moassessi
    Caroline Moassessi

26 Reviews

Nancy March 7, 2019
I love this salad! I substituted toasted chick peas for lentils. Also added some shredded carrots for color. Such a simple and delicious dish!
fuhsi October 20, 2018
Resisted the kale craze a few years back but had some kale salad at a WFs take-out and understood all the enthusiasm. This salad is so much better than that take-out and I'm a fan of Gena Hamshaw's recipes. Easy to make and the lentils add an earthy counterbalance to the bright dressing and roasted squash.
Änneken July 21, 2017
I instantly fell in love with this salad! Added fried halloumi for some saltiness. Heavenly!
tanteilonka December 27, 2013
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)
Mark October 30, 2013
This is a great salad! I added roasted butternut squash and red quinoa. Delish!
MF June 1, 2013
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?
Mamazz April 4, 2013
my family loves this!- I added toasted walnuts and feta
Caroline M. March 2, 2013
MaryDD February 21, 2013
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.
Dee264 January 27, 2013
Made this for lunch. Added a handful of roasted sunflower seeds and orange flavored dried cranberries to it. Outstanding! Thank you!
Susie B. December 28, 2012
very interesting !
enbe October 24, 2012
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.
taniagoulart October 22, 2012
would this work just as well with dino kale?
LadyDiTejas August 23, 2012
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!
db7 July 22, 2012
I made this recipe tonight and substituted the apricot preserve with sauteed peaches and apricots leftover from brunch, it was delicious!
sheredel July 22, 2012
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.
Ghazzzit July 1, 2012
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!
Vstarr71 June 27, 2012
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:)
joannajw June 25, 2012
How long do you massage the kale and do you have to do piece by piece or can you just mush up handfuls?
Gena H. June 27, 2012
Handfuls is just fine!
Andreakat June 17, 2012
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!!
Gena H. June 27, 2012
So delighted that you enjoyed the recipe!