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The Basics: Kale Salad and Dijon Vinaigrette – The Minimalist Pantry
Recipes Salads Savory

The Basics: Kale Salad and Dijon Vinaigrette

Everything but the kitchen sink.  It’s an expression that rings true in my kitchen, specifically when it comes to salads.

I have a deep and passionate love of salad.  At my old office, I was nicknamed a rabbit due to the rate at which I consumed salads and raw veggies. Thanks to a career in the Jewish non-profit world, I have visited Israel multiple times. No trip is complete without a visit to The Salad Trail, my version of Disneyland.  I enter a trance-like state, pulling fresh radishes and white carrots from the sand (oh yes, did I mention Israel has found a way to grow perfect produce in the dessert?) and popping handfuls of cherry tomatoes into my mouth, fresh off the vine.

Oddly enough, I struggle with salad bars. Something about the neat little rows of chopped veggies, nuts, cheeses, and toppings makes my brain shutdown and I inevitably end up with an overwhelming (and not so great) combination.

But when it comes to preparing a salad at home, the more the merrier. I have included a recipe below for my go-to weeknight salad as well as a homemade dijon vinaigrette. Enjoy!

Salad Ingredients:

1/3 bag of raw kale (I use Trader Joe’s Organic Tuscan Kale)

8 baby carrots, chopped

10-12 almonds, chopped

handful of dried cranberries, chopped

1/2 a green apple, chopped

1/4 cup of crumbled goat cheese


When using kale, make sure to massage this leafy green to soften it and bring out the flavor.  I like to place the kale in the bowl, put a drop of olive oil in my hands, and massage the leaves. Note: this is not completely necessary and your salad will still be delicious sans massage.  Some folks find the denseness of kale undesirable, hence the massage.

Chop all of your ingredients, add to the bowl, and enjoy!


Salad Dressing Ingredients:

1/3 shallot, diced

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1/2 tablespoon of dijon mustard

1/2 tablespoon of honey (or maple syrup)

1/2 tablespoon of red wine vinegar

1/2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar* (I recently discovered this glaze and find that it amps up the flavor more than regular vinegar)

Salt and pepper

*To limit the ingredients, you could use only balsamic or red wine vinegar, just double the amount.



Food lover and minimalist cook finding harmony in the kitchen.

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