Hello 2022! It’s time we join the “new year, new me” January healthy movement that occurs every year at this time. If by healthy you mean still eat carbs and cheese then I am in! I am all about setting goals and resolutions especially revolving around food and lifestyle however turning your current lifestyle upside down and crash diets are just not my thing (been there done that). This crunchy parmesan kale salad is the best of both worlds. Yes, it has cheese and bread, but it’s 90% kale with no creamy dressing, that has to count for something right?
Chances are you either love kale or hate it. If you hate it because of the taste I can’t help you. If you hate it however because it’s fibrous and stabs the inside of your mouth when you eat it, then you must not be giving it a massage. Yes, curly kale, the most common variety of kale (image above) needs a massage. Massaging your kale in a little olive oil before adding to salads breaks downs the fibers and makes it easier to eat, not to mention removes some of the bitter flavor. So next time you eat kale raw take it to the spa for 2-3 minutes, I promise you it makes a world of a difference. Another technique to softening up raw kale, which is directed in this recipe is to remove the leaves off the stalk and cut it super fine, almost in ribbons (image below).
Thats it. 5 ingredients, 15 minutes, this salad could not be easier to assemble. It’s as easy as cutting kale, toasting breadcrumbs, grating cheese, and combining.
Make the Breadcrumbs – In a dry frying pan add the panko, a pinch of salt, and zest of 1 lemon. On low heat toast the panko until golden brown, continuously tossing approx. 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat. You can also make homemade breadcrumbs from stale bread. But chances are, if you are making this salad you are going down the route of the least amount of work.
Prep the Kale – As I mentioned above kale needs a little loving before it can be consumed. Remove the kale leaves off the fibrous stalk. Toss the stalks. Finely chop the leaves in ribbons. Add to a large bowl with 1 tbsp of olive oil and massage for 2-3 minutes. The kale will start to get soft, thats the goal here.
Dress + Eat – Add parmesan cheese, the juice of 1 lemon, and a pinch of salt. Toss. Finish it with bread crumbs and eat immediately. A soggy salad is a bad salad.
When dressing the salad, add the breadcrumbs last after dressing, to ensure this crunchy parmesan kale salad stays crunchy.
Looking for another flavorful salad recipe? Check out the below!