Kale and Quinoa Salad

Until recently, kale has always been villainized as a tough, chewy, and disagreeable salad green. With the upsurge in CSA users like ourselves, we were forced to work with it in the summer months. Over time, we realized that the best way to eat kale is to make a salad well ahead of time, and properly dress and prepare the kale. This helps to break it down and become a softer, more flavorful green, as illustrated in this salad that combines a medley of fresh vegetables multiple form from raw, roasted, and pan fried. It is a great recipe to use to mix up your salads, and it has become a regular in our summer rotation.

Ingredient Changes

  • Dinosaur Kale

    Since we received curly kale in our CSA box, we swapped it and it was a successful substitution. Curly kale is not as soft as dinosaur kale, but it made the salad appear more voluminous.

  • Dressing

    We double the dressing and always use 1.5 times the original recipe for the base salad and add more to taste. We typically do end up using the entire doubled recipe.

Ingredient Conversions

Ingredient Old Value New Value
Quinoa 1/2 cup 90 grams
Dried Cherries 1/3 cup 65 grams
Kale 1 bunch 8 oz after removing the stems


  • We like to add beets to this salad for a texture pop. Use one large beet (250 grams) diced it into 1/4 inch cubes. Toss the beets in 1/2 TBSP of olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast for 20 minutes at 420 degrees. During the roasting time, toss the vegetables 1-2 times.
  • We had leftover cremini mushrooms in the fridge (120 grams), so we pan sauteed these in 1/2 TBSP of olive oil, salt, and pepper over medium-low heat. Add right before serving.
  • Liberally salt and pepper your salad, even with salt and peppering the kale, roasted vegetables, etc it needs a lot of basic spice.
  • This salad is great at room temperature, but it can also be served cold. It gets even better as it sits, so leftovers can be enjoyed again the next day for lunch or dinner.
  • We normally make the salad 3-5 hours before serving to ensure that the kale softens. The quinoa also benefits from the rest as it absorbs the flavors of the dressing and the other ingredients.

Recipes This Note Is Based On

Kale and quinoa salad with ricotta salata