I made this salad for the NYC Marathon party we threw last weekend.  There was some discussion in my household about my planned menu that led me to question my choice of kale for a salad for a moment, but I stuck with my gut feeling that this one would be tasty.  If you are not familiar with preparing kale, don’t fret, this salad is raw, pleasing to the eyes, and was the most talked about dish at the party.  In a good way!  Although the recipe did not suggest preparing ahead of time, I made the salad the night before and allowed the lemon juice to tenderize and mellow the flavor of the kale.  Makes a great salad to bring to holiday parties- colorful, healthy, flavorful and filling.

Choose the tender, long-leafed Lacinato kale if available, but any variety will do as long as you cut very thin strips and give the greens a thorough rubdown with the salt, vinegar, and oil mixture.  Be sure to strip the leaves from the thick stalk and discard the stalks.  The suggested root vegetables can be substituted.  For instance I made this with turnip, beets and parsnips, which added both a sweetness and great color.  You can also save time by using the shredding blade of a food processor instead of grating the root vegetables.

Serves 8 as a side dish


2-12oz bunches of kale, stems removed, leaves cut into thin strips of chiffonade (too much is better than too little)

2 Tbsp. Olive oil or Flax oil

1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 ½ tsp sea salt, divided

1-cup whole pecans (or more)

¼ cup pure maple syrup

2 Tbsp Canola oil

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

1 medium turnip, peeled and grated (1 cup)

½ medium rutabaga, peeled and grated (1 cup)

1 medium carrot, grated (1/2 cup)

2 green onions, cut thin on diagonal


2 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp olive oil or Flax oil

1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce

1 Tbsp agave nectar or honey

Place well-drained kale in a large bowl and pour olive oil, vinegar and 1tsp salt over the top.  Gently massage the mixture into kale about 2-3 minutes by hand, or until kale starts to wilt.

Stir turnip, rutabaga, carrot, and green onions into kale mixture

Whisk together lemon juice, oil, soy sauce, and agave nectar in bowl. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

My suggestion is to add the salad dressing to the salad and allow to sit about 8 hours, but if you are pressed for time you can dress the salad about 30 minutes before serving.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Toss together pecans, maple syrup, canola oil, remaining ½ tsp salt, and cayenne in a medium bowl.  Spread nut mixture in single layer on prepared baking sheet; bake 8-10 minutes, or until pecans are brown and fragrant, stirring frequently.  Cool in pan.  Add the pecans just prior to serving the salad.

Adapted from vegetarian times magazine