Kale & Anchovy Salad

March 21, 2013
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 40 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I know you need another kale salad recipe like you need another artisanal pickle, but I swear you'll love this one. And even if you don't, I have a mixing technique to offer that you can apply to the other 37 kale salads in your repertory. —Amanda Hesser

What You'll Need
  • 1 small garlic clove, smashed
  • 2 anchovies
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 Meyer (or regular) lemon
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 6 cups packed dinosaur (lacinato) kale, ribs removed, and torn into smallish pieces before measuring
  1. In a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic and anchovy with a pinch of salt to a paste. Blend in the juice from half a Meyer lemon. Then beat in the olive oil. It should semi-emulsify; don't worry if it doesn't.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the onion and thyme leaves with a large pinch of salt, then rub the salt into the onions using your hands. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Put the kale in a large bowl. Add the onion and thyme. Pour in half the dressing and, using your hands, mix the greens—really get in there and work the salad. You should almost knead the greens so they break down a bit and the dressing fully coats the leaves. Taste and add more salt, lemon juice, or dressing, as needed. Let the salad sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Taste and adjust once more. Then spread on a platter and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • sevenfaces
  • JohnZ
  • Big Pot
    Big Pot
  • Kim Hoskins
    Kim Hoskins
  • walkie74
Amanda Hesser

Recipe by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.

27 Reviews

Michael D. August 14, 2017
Why I'm a Food52'er...simple, tasty, surprising. This stuff is great on sandwiches and wraps for zip and crunch. I'm making another batch as we speak, with all the rain in VT this summer the kale just keeps comin'!
sevenfaces October 25, 2015
This dressing is a winner. Just made this for lunch with ribbons of young silverbeet and butter lettuce; because these leaves are already tender, I didn't have to massage - even better! Putting this in the back pocket for whenever I need quick delicious greens (i.e. always)
Amanda H. October 25, 2015
Happy to hear you like it so much!
Teema M. March 15, 2014
This is delicious especially with chilled fresh pear chunks added. Also great with quinoa. This is a very versatile salad and one of my favorites. I look forward to having it the next day for lunch--it holds up well. Just add the fresh pear chunks when serving.
JohnZ February 28, 2014
We made this tonight and it was wonderful. We put pangritata over the top for some texture. We also decided that the next time we make this salad we're going to poach eggs to put on the top in each bowl. Thanks for the great recipe!
Amanda H. March 1, 2014
Like the sound of your version.
Big P. February 1, 2014
This is great - it puts me in mind of a more ancient (Dinosaurs!) version of a Caesar salad. I'm trying it tonight with the addition of some croutons for some crunch.
Amanda H. February 1, 2014
Croutons sound like a perfect addition.
Kim H. November 3, 2013
I recently found this website and I love it!! I have used a few of the recipes and all were great, but my family absolutely loved the Roasted Chicken with the pan sauce....I never knew cooking a chicken at such high heat would make it so moist!! I have to make it once a week now! Thanks you so much....I am really starting to get into kale and like the salads, but can you also do some side dishes so I can get the skeptics in my house to eat it also! Thanks...
Amanda H. November 4, 2013
Will work on the side dishes!
Kim H. November 5, 2013
Thank you so much! Great website! So glad I came across it!
walkie74 September 6, 2013
My husband ate a ridiculous amount. I think this might be a winner!
Amanda H. September 6, 2013
Oh good -- please thank your husband!
walkie74 September 5, 2013
I just made this, but I have to run to work. We'll see how it tastes when I get back in two hours!
Denise August 16, 2013
I accidentally found this website and I now have another reason to not go to bed. I am so in love with this recipe, I have made it 3x in 4 days. I actually said (out loud) that I think this salad could make me give up potato chips. Also, I really enjoy our writing. Thanks for making me smile!
Amanda H. August 16, 2013
Denise -- so glad you found our site, and thanks for letting us know!
Kate August 13, 2013
Can we please have a contest for best anchovy recipe?? (I don't have one, I just want one!)
Amanda H. August 14, 2013
A while back we had a "your best canned fish" recipe contest: -- so not just anchovies but the larger family of canned fish. But we can revisit sometime!
Rhonda35 April 9, 2013
Ohmigosh! This is GOOD - like, seriously, addictively, amazingly good. I made this with regular ol' grocery store kale and it was easy and delicious. For people who are a little funny about whole anchovies, you could use a couple good squeezes of anchovy paste and get the same results. The "massaging" of the kale with the dressing and also the few minutes that it sits are really important, especially when you are using grocery store kale. It completely transforms the kale into a tender green. One word of warning - go light on the salt. You can always add it later. Unfortunately, I oversalted because I didn't realize how salty my anchovies I had to add more greens to disperse that saltiness. Worked fine, but if you don't have extra kale, it could be a problem. Thanks, Amanda, for a super-easy, incredibly tasty, healthy salad.
Amanda H. April 9, 2013
Hey Rhonda -- glad you liked it, and thanks for the extra tips!
james April 5, 2013
can't find dinosaur kale. is it worth trying with regular, grocery store kale?
mward April 3, 2013
Looks great! I'm going definitely make this! I had a wonderful kale salad in a restaurant recently that added toasted kale to the salad after the rest of the salad had been dressed for a little while. I loved the mixture of textures, and the addition of the crunch. I think I'll try that with this one.
mward April 3, 2013
This was really good! The crunch was nice, but it was nice even without the toasted kale...
serendipity2425 April 3, 2013
Made this tonight for dinner. It barely made it to the table. So so so so GO-OO-ood!
Ps: I used Trader Joe's Power Greens - a mix of kale chard and spinach.
WOWZER WOWZER Way good and tons of nutrients, fiber, vitamins. Add some protein if you're looking to carry on for the next several hours = nuts, diced grilled chicken, cashews, etc.
violist331 April 3, 2013
Why not break down or massaging the kale before adding the dressing. Why waste what gets on your hands instead of it dressing the salad ?
Amanda H. April 3, 2013
Because the salt and acidity in the dressing help break down the leaves.
foodiefun April 3, 2013
I am making this tonight!