Raw Kale Salad with Quinoa

Raw Kale Salad with Quinoa

Raw kale salads are all the rage in the US and Europe…for good reason! They are healthy, brightly flavored, and a refreshing addition to your salad repertoire. The slight bitterness of the kale, the sweetness of berries, and the crunchiness of the quinoa complement each other beautifully.

Kale vs collard? Kale is a curly leafed non-heading cabbage, while collard, in the same family, is flat leafed and considered tougher, although this is often not the case. Both are interchangeable if necessity dictates a substitution. Here in Thailand what is considered kale is actually collard. Leafy kale is rarely available, as are fresh berries. I have substituted collard, and reconstituted dehydrated cranberries for the recipe that follows, but fresh blueberries would be ideal if available. Do substitute if you must. This salad is sure to please.

Prepare ahead:

Quinoa: Rinse quinoa as you would rice, until the water runs clear. Place in a rice steamer with a clove of garlic and a pinch of salt. Add just enough water to cover the quinoa by 1/4 inch. This will turn out a crunchy quinoa that this salad begs for. Cool and refrigerate.

Berries: If you are using dehydrated berries, as I am for this recipe, place them in a saucepan with just enough water to cover. Bring to a low boil and turn off the heat and set aside to cool in the steeping water. Drain when cool and refrigerate.

Sage Honey Mustard Dressing
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Best made a day ahead, allowing the flavors to develop.

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup light olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped

Combine the Dijon, whole grain mustard, honey, salt, pepper, vinegar, and lemon juice in a blender jar and pulse several times to combine the ingredients. With the motor running add the olive oils in a slow steady stream. The dressing will thicken as you finish adding the oil. Stop the motor and add the chopped sage. Pulse several times until the sage is well combined. Transfer to a clean jar and refrigerate.

Quantities are at your discretion, depending on how many you plan to serve. A good guide would be 2 parts salad greens to 1 part kale, adding enough radicchio to brighten this otherwise mostly green salad. Prepare the greens ahead of time and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the salad.                     A crisp chilled salad is best in this case!

  • kale (or collard), stems and leaf ribs removed and cut into thin strips (chiffonade)
  • assorted leafy salad greens of various colors and textures, torn 
  • radicchio leaves, torn 
  • quinoa, cooked and chilled
  • blueberries ( raspberries, mulberries, or, in this case reconstituted dehydrated cranberries)
  • chives, minced

A note about kale: If you are using mature kale it can be quite tough and may require a very quick steam (1 or 2 minutes) and  immediately placed in ice water until cool. Spread out on kitchen towel, separating any clumps, to dry out, cover and  refrigerate.

Place all the well chilled greens, kale, and radicchio in a large salad bowl. Add a small amount of dressing to glaze the salad greens, then add the chilled quinoa, chilled berries, and chives and toss together. Gently drizzle on a little more dressing and toss to combine. The idea here is to let the salad’s flavor shine and the dressing to compliment rather than overwhelm. You can serve with a pitcher of dressing on the table for those who would prefer more.



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