Lacinato Kale & Mint Salad With Spicy Peanut Dressing

By dymnyno
June 28, 2012
101 Comments


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 as side/2 as main
Prep time: 10 min

Ingredients

For the 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

For the 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

Directions

  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.

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Reviews (101) Questions (0)

101 Comments

Andrea M. August 16, 2018
I've been making this recipe on repeat lately - it is so good!<br />I sub pecans or pistachios for the walnuts, and use a bag of prepped kale slaw from my local market.
 
janet T. July 29, 2018
Kale harvested fresh from the garden is much more tender than any I’ve ever bought in the store. It’s easy to grow and very hardy, endures hot weather and moderately cold temps. Haven’t tried this recipe, but it sounds great and I look forward to trying it.
 
Megan April 5, 2018
This is one of my all-time-favorites on Food52 and really, anywhere. Been making it for years now! Last night I roasted some shrimp that had been tossed in chili-garlic sauce and palm sugar while I prepped the salad. Honestly, you could hardly taste the shrimp over the strong flavors of the salad, but it was a nice way to add some protein and make it a meal. We'll be making this one for years to come!
 
goodTasha December 28, 2017
Company holiday potluck submission. Many did not try as it was green and made with kale - those who did, loved. I shared the recipe many times. The entire combination of flavors is fantastic.
 
KvellintheKitchen June 15, 2017
This dressing is fantastic!! I literally caught my husband eating leftovers straight out of the jar. Honey is an easy sub for more obscure pomegranate molasses and makes this basically a pantry recipe. It also works wonderfully as a summer crudite dip (raw snap peas, radishes, carrots) or chicken satay dressing. Versatile and delicious, this dressing is high in my summer recipe rotation.
 
julia B. April 18, 2017
Massaging kale first does help to soften it a bit and makes eating raw kale a pleasure... Once I was given the task of making a massaged kale salad for 150 people. Aack ! I lit upon the idea of throwing the sliced greens into our huge 30 quart mixer at work ~ allowing the mixer paddle to do the massaging. Worked great and saved so much time. I use this method at home now for smaller amounts in my 6 quart KitchenAid...with great, fast results. Love this salad ! Spicy peanut sauce is superb !
 
verborgenheit October 30, 2016
This was absolutely amazing. I used Fancy molasses instead of pomegranate molasses and it was delicious. Everyone practically inhaled it!
 
ItalianFoodie July 14, 2016
Google pomegranate molasses for on-line sources and other uses.
 
jelloooojen July 13, 2016
Anyone tried this with Tahini instead of peanut butter?<br />
 
Anita July 20, 2016
Hey Jelloooojen!!! I am allergic to peanut butter and I have ONLY made this with tahini and it has been sooooo delicious!!! :) I hope you make it...and like it!<br />
 
Tracey June 19, 2016
Tried this recipe for supper. Didn't have any mint, just kale. Added dried cranberries. It was great! The dressing could definitely be used for many recipes. A keeper :)
 
suzanne November 17, 2015
This salad is great! Add some chicken its FAB! I might bottle the dressing and package it with ideas for Christmas! Thanks!
 
Scribbles August 10, 2015
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!
 
inflytur August 7, 2015
This is a great recipe. Try it even if you think you don't like kale. <br />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. <br />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. <br />I like an earlier suggestion of adding dried cranberries to add sweetness. I added fresh pomegranate seeds.
 
Sheila E. June 26, 2015
I had a tough time finding the pomegranate molasses myself. Ended up making it with an Alton Brown recipe. Easy... just time consuming.
 
Lazyretirementgirl September 10, 2016
Amazon has it.
 
Sandra B. December 9, 2014
Oh yeah -looking good!!
 
cream C. October 28, 2014
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.
 
Shine July 12, 2014
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.
 
Remy S. June 10, 2014
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.
 
NC F. June 10, 2014
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!
 
Author Comment
dymnyno June 10, 2014
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).
 
Lemongrass&Lime May 14, 2014
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.