The "kale hater's" kale salad
My sweet fella is an avid kale-hater. You know the type. You might even be one yourself. I've spent the past several years trying to convince him that kale is a wonderful thing that doesn't need to be cooked down in bacon fat or covered in cheese in order to be good (though those are very good things). So when I made him this Creamy Kale Salad with Raspberries and Feta for the first time and packed it in his lunch, I expected some less than enthusiastic feedback. Instead, I got this lunchtime text: "The kale salad is seriously delicious, which is something I thought I would never say."
Lacinato kale is massaged with olive oil and salt until tender, then tossed with red cabbage, carrots, and green onions in a lightly sweet, zippy, and creamy dressing. To finish, the tender greens are treated to a generous sprinkle of crunchy sunflower seeds, fresh sweet raspberries, and salty feta cheese. You can call it by its proper name, or as we affectionately have dubbed it at our house -- "The Kale Hater's Kale Salad." Either way, this salad is bound to turn a few kale haters into kale-lovers!
Tenderize kale by massaging it first
The way you prepare kale completely dictates whether you're going to eat green, leafy cardboard or whether you're going to eat a bowl of super tasty and tender greens worth adding to your dinner plate. The key to taking kale greens from cardboard to delicious is to massage them. I know this sounds a little odd, but trust me, this 2-minute trick will make your greens tender and soft -- perfect for building a super tasty Creamy Kale Salad with Raspberries and Feta.
All you need is a little oil, Kosher salt, and very clean hands. I prefer to use garlic-infused olive oil, but classic olive oil or good neutral avocado oil will work really well too. Simply toss the oil and salt into clean, torn kale greens and start kneading and squeezing those greens! Within a few seconds of doing this, you should notice that the kale has already begun to soften. As you continue to massage, the kale will darken in color and become super tender and perfect for eating raw in a salad.
What to serve this Creamy Kale Salad with Raspberries and Feta with
- Grilled Skirt Steak with Avocado Chimichurri Sauce
- Crispy Oven-Fried Fish
- Greek Lamb Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce
- Pressure Cooker Barbacoa Beef
- Pressure Cooker Boneless Beef Ribs
- Mediterranean Turkey Burgers
- Grilled Chicken Wings with Chipotle Peach BBQ Sauce
What tools do I need to make this recipe?
- A cutting board
- A chef's knife
- A kitchen scale - OR - Measuring cups (for less accurate measurements)
- Measuring spoons
- A large mixing bowl (to toss the salad in)
- A small mixing bowl or mason jar
- A small whisk or a fork
- 2 wooden spoons or spatulas (to toss the salad)
Are you looking to upgrade to your cooking tools or replenish your pantry? Check out my kitchen tools shop page and pantry staples shop page to find my must-have kitchen tools, pantry items, and other Whip & Wander favorites.
Looking for more salad inspiration?
Love this Creamy Kale Salad with Raspberries and Feta? Here are some additional salad recipes to add to your menu:
- Tuna Nicoise Salad
- Radicchio Salad with Green Olives, Blue Cheese, and Candied Walnuts
- Smoked Salmon adn Citrus Salad with Cucumber and Avocado
- Strawberry Peach Summer Salad with Basil Walnut Pesto
- Shaved Brussles Sprouts Salad with Blue Cheese, Cranberries, and Pecans
- Creamy Cucumber Radish Salad
A note for special diets
This Creamy Kale Salad with Raspberries and Feta is friendly for gluten-free diets. If you omit the feta cheese, this salad can also accommodate dairy-free and Paleo diets.Print
Lacinato kale is massaged with olive oil and salt until tender, then tossed with red cabbage, carrots, and green onions in a lightly sweet, zippy, and creamy dressing. To finish, the tender greens are treated to a generous sprinkle of crunchy sunflower seeds, fresh sweet raspberries, and salty feta cheese.
For the dressing:
- 5 tbsp mayo
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
For the salad:
- 2 heads (about 331 g) Lacinato/Italian kale, de-veined and roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil (may sub for traditional olive oil, then add 2 cloves minced garlic after greens are massaged)
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- ½ head red cabbage (about 354 g), thinly chopped
- 111 g (about 1 cup) carrots, shredded
- 32 g (about ¾ cup) green onions, chopped
- 3 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 154 g (about 1 cup) fresh raspberries
- 4 oz (just under a cup) feta cheese, crumbled
For the dressing:
- Add mayo, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and honey to a medium bowl. Whisk until fully combined then reserve to the side.
For the salad:
- In a large mixing bowl, add the chopped kale and top with olive oil and salt. Massage by hand (kneading and gently squeezing the kale) for about 2 minutes. The kale should shrink in volume substantially as it tenderizes and the leaves will darken. If utilizing traditional olive oil instead of the garlic-infused olive oil, you can add the minced garlic in after the kale has been massaged.
- Add red cabbage, carrots, and green onions, and the reserved dressing. Toss to combine.
- Add sunflower seeds, raspberries, and feta cheese and gently fold in.
Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.
- Serving Size: ⅙ of salad
- Calories: 266
- Sugar: 8 g
- Sodium: 624 mg
- Fat: 18 g
- Saturated Fat: 4 g
- Carbohydrates: 20 g
- Fiber: 5 g
- Protein: 8 g
- Cholesterol: 15 mg
Keywords: kale, red cabbage, raspberries, feta cheese, sunflower seeds