Kale Salad with Salami, Pecorino, and Walnuts

By EmilyC
September 28, 2018

Author Notes: Headnote coming!EmilyC

Makes: 4 large salads
Prep time: 15 min


For the lemon-walnut vinaigrette:

  • 8 toasted walnut halves
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest + 3 tablespoons juice from 2 lemons
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, or a lesser amount of red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt, to taste

For the rest of the salad:

  • 1 large tart apple (such as honey crisp), cored, halved, and thinly sliced
  • 2 bunches Tuscan kale, trimmed, ribs removed, and sliced into thin ribbons (about 8 to 9 cups in total)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup toasted and chopped walnuts (use leftover walnut pieces from vinaigrette)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or another dried fruit in bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 cup finely grated pecorino romano (or another hard, nutty cheese)
  • 1 cup salami (about 3 ounces), sliced into thin ribbons


  1. To make the vinaigrette: With a microplane, grate the walnuts, one at a time, until you have 3 tablespoons of shavings. (Tip: grate about 3/4 of each walnut, taking care to not nick your fingers, and save the leftover walnut pieces for the salad.) In a bowl or a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the grated walnuts with the lemon zest (use the same microplane to zest the lemon) and the rest of the ingredients. Whisk (or shake) until emulsified and adjust salt and acidity to taste.
  2. In a small bowl, toss the apple slices with about a tablespoon of the vinaigrette to prevent discoloration. Set aside.
  3. Add kale to a large salad bowl, and season with a few pinches of kosher salt. Using your hands, toss and massage about 3 to 4 tablespoons of the vinaigrette into the leaves, adding more vinaigrette if needed (I usually don't use the full amount). Toss in the apples and remaining ingredients. Serve immediately, or make up to a full day in advance.

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Reviews (4) Questions (0)


oregon C. October 1, 2018
This quick salad will definitely get me out of my normal rotation of salads we have before every dinner. Walnut allergies here — what do you think would be the best substitute—hazelnuts? Looking forward to trying this.
Author Comment
EmilyC October 1, 2018
Hi Cassie! Hazelnuts would be delicious! A larger nut works well for the vinaigrette since you’re shaving them (a great hack for adding nutty flavor to vinaigrettes without buying pricey nut oils!). Just last week I made the same salad with pecans (delicious) and whole almonds (regular or marcona) would be really good too!
bea's K. October 1, 2018
You read my mind! Just had a salad for lunch with kale, chicken, walnuts, pears and balsamic, was thinking how it would be even better with a hard aged cheese. Trying this next :-)
Author Comment
EmilyC October 1, 2018
Fantastic! Hope you enjoy it! : )