My name is Mary.  I love cooking healthy food for family & friends, making specialty coffee, wine tasting, finding great beauty products, traveling, and organizing everything. I document it all here! xo

lacinato kale with dijon vinaigrette + walnuts

lacinato kale with dijon vinaigrette + walnuts

{vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free}

Come summer, fall, winter or spring, kale will be hanging around your grocery store or local farmer's market. I personally like lacinato kale because it is the sweetest version of its relatives: Siberion, Scoth and Red Chidori kale.  Not to mention, kale has cancer-fighting properties do to its nutrient-dense makeup containing several carotenoids, high levels of vitamins c, a and k, as well as folate and other minerals.

This salad is a great wing-man, or wing-woman (depending on how one might genderize this particular vegetable) to any main dish.  I like to pair it with potatoes or other root vegetables, beans or rice.   If you are eating on its own, as a main dish, throw in some avocado or any grain you have lying around (think: quinoa, rice, millet, etc.). I love to eat avocado toast alongside this salad.  Well, I like to eat avocado toast with just about anything...

Despite kale trending at its peek in the past several years, and all the schwag that is marketed as a result of its popularity, it has been around for a long time.  Lacinato kale (also known as Tuscan or dinosaur kale) grew in the 18th century in Italy, which is why it is also called Tuscan kale.  Supposedly, Thomas Jefferson grew lacinato kale in his garden; he probably admired its robust leaves and dramatic texture. 

Kale of any kind, can grow year-round in most places, even under freezing temperatures. Supposedly, lacinato kale tastes sweeter when it has been "frost-bitten" during its maturation.   It's a wonder why it took this hearty vegetable so long to become a part of the mainstream food culture.

I prefer a more tender texture, so it is important to massage the kale when washing and dressing it.  I also like to let it sit at least 30 minutes before serving so the vinegar can further breakdown the fibers; but you can get away with 15 minutes.  Kale is very robust, and will hold it's texture and form even if this recipe is enjoyed the following day. 

If you have a nut allergy, feel free to swap walnuts with pepita seeds.  If you are not following a low-FODMAP diet, go ahead and add a clove of crushed garlic to add additoinal flavor to the dressing. 

Total: 25 minutes| Prep: 10 minutes | Rest time: 15 minutes | Serves 4 as a side



cutting board

measuring spoons (tablespoon+teaspoon)

salad bowl or medium or large mixing bowl

optional salad spinner

small bowl for whisking salad dressing




1 bunch lacinato kale (a.k.a. dinosaur or Tuscan kale)

1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped or crushed by hand

3 tablespoons high quality olive oil

1 tablespoon apple cider or sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

sea salt and pepper to taste



1.  Remove the green leaves from the bitter stems of the kale, and chop into, roughly, half-inch pieces.  Place the kale leaves in a bowl of cold water and massage the kale for about a minute or two.  

2.  Place the kale in a colander, drain and rinse thoroughly. Put the kale in a salad spinner or dry with a clean kitchen or paper towel.  Set aside in a serving bowl.

3.  Combine the Dijon mustard, vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.  Use a whisk to emulsify the vinaigrette.  
Pour vinaigrette over kale and massage the dressing into the kale until it is evenly coated.

4.  Allow the salad to rest in the refrigerator for at least 15-30 minutes, while the vinaigrette breaks-down and tenderizes the kale.  Top off with the walnuts and some freshly cracked pepper and salt to taste.  Enjoy!


Kale is very robust, and will hold it's texture and form even if this recipe is enjoyed the following day.

If enjoying the salad a la carte, add in some avocado and grain of your choice, or serve alongside a crusty (gluten-free) bread. 

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