Oct 1
Kale Power Salad with Lemon Cilantro Vinaigrette

I fell in love with kale salads a couple of years ago and have yet to get over my crush.  I know kale may be yesterday’s news, but gosh darn it, I don’t care!  So here’s another kale salad to add to the top of the Mt. Everest-sized pile of kale salad recipes that have accumulated over the past few years in the food world.  This salad is a marriage of two different salads that I love—a kale salad with a raspberry vinaigrette in the delicatessen area at Harmons Grocery and a tri-tip salad with a lemon cilantro vinaigrette at Cubby’s, a wonderful local sandwich/salad restaurant.  

Lemon Cilantro Vinaigrette 2

A thick and creamy, zingy lemon cilantro vinaigrette whips up quickly, then is massaged into thinly sliced kale.  Next comes the addition of grape tomatoes, avocados, dried cherries, toasted sliced almonds, and roasted sunflower seeds to add lots of flavor and texture.

Making kale power salad with lemon cilantro vinaigrette dressing

The result is a hearty green salad with bright flavors that help pack in a nutritional punch.

Kale Power Salad 2

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Kale Power Salad with Lemon Cilantro Vinaigrette

Makes 6 to 8 servings

For the lemon cilantro vinaigrette:
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice (1 to 2 large lemons—it will depend on how large and how juicy the lemons are!)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 teaspoons honey
1/2 medium Hass avocado (about 3 ounces, after pit and skin have been removed), cut into chunks
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 bunch cilantro (about 1 ounce), coarsely chopped

For the kale power salad:
1 1/2 large bunches kale, stalks removed and discarded, and leaves thinly sliced (I especially love lacinato kale)
1 1/2 cups halved grape tomatoes
2 avocados, cubed
1/2 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds (or pepitas)

1. Make the lemon cilantro vinaigrette: If using an immersion blender, place all of the ingredients in the order listed, except for the cilantro, in the bottom of an immersion blender cup. Place the head of the immersion blender at the bottom of the cup and switch it on. When everything has blended together fairly well, slowly tilt and lift the head of the immersion blender until all of the olive oil is emulsified. Add the cilantro and pulse the immersion blender until it is mixed throughout the dressing. If using a blender, place all of the ingredients, except for the olive oil and cilantro, into a blender and blend until well combined. With the blender running, pour the olive oil through the lid opening slowly, until it is emulsified. Add the cilantro and pulse the mixture a couple of times until it is mixed throughout the dressing. The finished dressing should be thick and creamy.

2. Make the kale power salad: Place the kale in a large bowl and add about 1/4 cup of the dressing. Massage the dressing into the kale until the kale starts to soften and wilt, about 2 to 3 minutes.

3. In a separate bowl, toss the tomatoes, avocados, and cherries with a few tablespoons of the remaining dressing, then add it to the kale. Sprinkle the salad with the sliced almonds and sunflower seeds and any of the dressing remaining in the bowl from the tomato mixture. Toss again. Add additional dressing as needed, toss again, then serve. The dressing makes extra so that you can make the salad again, or use it as a delicious veggie dip!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Fuji Nana October 1, 2014 at 9:06 am

Oh my oh my oh my! We love kale salad and we love lemon! This looks fantastic! It’s on my menu for the weekend. I’ll let you know what I think!


Connie Molina-Ruiz via Facebook October 1, 2014 at 6:07 pm

I’ve hearing massaging the kale takes it to a whole new level


Annfairfax October 4, 2014 at 7:59 pm

This salad & dressing looks amazing. Can’t wait to try it!


Fuji Nana October 5, 2014 at 6:10 pm

Okay, I made this for lunch today. OUTSTANDING. The dressing was amazing–tangy and creamy. I used small pepitas, and with the almonds, they added a nuttiness and crunch to the salad that was really good. We had a $12 kale salad in a restaurant in Pasadena last night (salad course size, not a main dish), and it was good, but this knocks the socks of that one. You need to sell them your recipe


Bloguettes via Facebook October 13, 2014 at 12:00 pm

This look so good!


Karey November 1, 2014 at 10:04 pm

My mouth is watering. When I read kale, Cubby’s dressing ::: gah! I can tell I need more veggies because this one is saying, “Karey . . . Kare . . . eeeee.”


sbo November 2, 2014 at 9:07 pm

This is a very good article. Thank you for a great information.
Looks really yummy.
I like to eat salad.


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