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Zesty Kale Salad

Zesty Kale Salad

One of the few food perks of winter is the abundance of kale in the markets.

I absolutely love this highly nutritious vegetable. In fact, it is one of the few food focused reasons I look forward to winter.

And this seriously easy zesty kale salad recipe has become my new favorite.

The simple flavors of lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic get a boost from the addition of chili flakes and nutritional yeast.

If you eat cheese feel free to use Parmesan instead of the yeast.

And as a real bonus, this is one of the few dressed salads I really love as leftovers the next day. Even with the dressing on it the leaves don’t go all soggy. In fact they just stay nicely soft.

For this recipe I prefer to use palm leaf kale because the leaves are softer than the regular curly kale. But do feel free to use the regular kale if palm kale is difficult to find. The only thing I would suggest in this case is to use your hands to massage the dressing into the leaves a bit to speed up the softening of the slightly stiffer curly kale.

alt="deeply green Tuscan kale drizzled with zesty dressing and served in a dark blue bowl. Extra dressing and chili flakes on the side."

Zesty Kale Salad

Dea Zoffmann
Palm leaf kale gets an update with a zesty dressing and some nutritional yeast.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Resting time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 2 servings


  • 3 packed cups roughly chopped palm leaf kale sometimes known as Italian or Tuscan kale
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil choose a fruity one for extra flavor
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Place your roughly chopped kale in a salad bowl. You can use regular kale if you cannot find the palm leaf kind. See note below.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, nutritional yeast, and the salt and pepper to taste and pour over the kale.
  • Toss to mix well and set aside to rest for at least 20 minutes. This will allow the kale to soften nicely before serving.


If you are using regular curly kale I suggest you use your hands to massage the dressing into the leaves a bit. This will help this slightly stiffer kale to soften up nicely as well.
Keyword healthy, nutritious, plant based, quick

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