A fall salad with raw kale, sweet dates, and salty parmesan cheese
Weirdly enough, some of the foods I've been drawn to most often during my pregnancy are leafy greens. There's definitely still a lot of carbs and ice cream going on in my diet, but my body has been craving vegetables and hearty greens like kale are at the top of my favorites list. This is certainly not the first kale salad I've featured on this site but it's special enough to be added into the rotation. We get catered lunch from Lemonade at one of my company's offices, and this is my version of one of the salads they provided. The combination of sweet, caramel-y dates with the salty cheese and crispy capers add lots of flavor to the raw kale. I pair it with a pretty acidic dressing to counterbalance the sweetness, which also makes this a good salad to pair with a rich main course. This would be delicious alongside braised meat or a fall stew but is hearty enough to have for a light lunch with some good bread.
Note: I am lucky enough to buy dates from a vendor at my local farmers market. If you can do the same or buy them from a specialty store, it's worth seeking out really good ones. If not, medjool dates from the grocery store will work fine - just make sure they aren't too soft since you need to slice them and mix them in the salad.
More Kale Salads:
- Kale, Brussels Sprouts, & Hazelnut Salad
- Kale Ribbon Salad with Parmesan & Garlic Vinaigrette
- Delicata Squash, Pepita, & Baby Kale Salad
Kale, Date, & Parmesan Salad:
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, washed, dried, stems removed and thinly sliced into ribbons
- 1/3 lb. dates, pitted and thinly sliced
- 1/4 c. parmesan cheese, shaved into pieces with a vegetable peeler
- 1/4 c. olive oil + a little more
- 3 tbsp. capers, drained and patted dry
- 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. honey
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- Heat a small pan over high heat. Add in a glug of olive oil and add in the capers.
- Cook the capers, shaking the pan often, for 2 minutes, or until crispy. Set aside.
- In a large salad bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil until combined.
- Add in the kale and mix very well with the dressing, working it through the leaves with your hands to massage and tenderize the kale.
- Add in the dates, parmesan, and capers and mix again. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Serve and enjoy. This salad can sit in the fridge or at room temp for several hours.
Serves four - six (side dish)