Warm kale salad is a delicious way to eat your greens! It’s a simple recipe with salty parmesan and spicy red pepper flakes, and it’s a perfect side dish for any dinner.

I haven’t been eating as many salads lately since it’s been so chilly. This meant that I had a couple of bunches of kale sitting in my fridge, begging to be used. I finally decided I’d use them up on a warm kale salad. After having such a delicious dish at The Savory Grain, I had a rough idea in mind of how I wanted to turn out. This actually turned out to be a simpler salad than I thought and I think this would be a lovely side dish, or a main dish if you added a little quinoa or protein.

kale salad

Tips for the Perfect Warm Kale Salad

  1. Kale is a tough green and it needs massaging to make it tender. After you’ve washed your kale, you want to literally massage it with your hands. I typically massage the dressing right in. Since this kale salad is served warm, it’s not as critical but it will still produce a better texture.
  2. Use the right dressing. Kale is a very bitter green and it needs something to help soften it a bit. An acidic dressing will help break down the fiber in the kale which will make it easier to chew.
  3. Remove the kale stems. The stems are extremely bitter and very hard to chew. Do yourself a favor and de-stem the kale. You can either fold the leaves in half and slice the stem off or you can just tear the leaves right off the stem.

Substitution Ideas

  • If you don’t have sunflower seeds, feel free to substitute pine nuts or sliced almonds.
  • I like the spice of red pepper flakes but if you don’t like spicy food, feel free to skip them.
  • You can also use lacinato kale if you don’t like curly kale
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kale salad

Warm Kale Salad

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Salad

Description

Warm kale salad is a delicious way to eat your greens! It’s a simple recipe with salty parmesan and spicy red pepper flakes, and it’s a perfect side dish for any dinner.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 bunch curly kale
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juiice
  • 2 oz shredded Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat up the oil in a large saucepan, and add in the minced garlic.
  2. Tear the kale into small pieces, removing the stems.
  3. Add them to the oil and toss to coat.
  4. Cook the kale over medium heat for 2 minutes, just until it softens. It shouldn’t take long, and you don’t want it to get soggy.
  5. Toss with the lemon juice, shredded cheese, sunflower seeds, and red pepper flakes.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Keywords: warm kale salad

 

Sometimes I add a few crushed red pepper flakes for a spicy flavor! It’s so simple but so delicious! I love serving this with my spaghetti squash lasagna but you could also add your favorite protein on top and make it a meal!

Looking for some other kale salad inspiration? Try this kale and quinoa salad!

kale and quinoa salad

Have you ever tried a warm kale salad?