I love kale, especially kale chips, but I would never have thought I would become mildly obsessed with a kale salad. This chopped kale salad with Pecorino, walnuts and sultanas (golden raisins) is the most delicious and versatile salad. Serve it alongside any grilled meat, chicken or fish.
Even my boyfriend who is a total kale hater enjoyed this salad. We ate it with grilled duck breasts. A very delicious combination. This is the perfect salad to pair with steak.
You can totally adapt the salad to your preference but don’t skimp on the ingredients as they add amazing flavour and crunchy texture. You can of course omit any if you prefer.
The plumped-up sultanas add a pop of sweetness against the salty Pecorino. They take on an amazing flavour once they soak up the vinegar. Use Parmesan cheese if you can’t find Pecorino Romano, but pecorino is definitely better.
How to make kale salad with Pecorino, walnuts and sultanas
The various elements can be made in advance and the salad can be assembled before serving. Kale benefits from some time to rest once the oil and acid have been added, allowing the texture of the leaves to soften slightly. Give it ten minutes.
First, preheat your oven and toast the walnuts until golden. Keep a close eye as oven temperatures can vary and they can burn very quickly.
Prepare the sultanas/raisins by boiling them with vinegar and water for about three-four minutes until plumped up. Allow them to cool.
Toss the breadcrumbs in a hot pan with olive oil and garlic until toasted and golden. The garlic is totally optional and I prefer to leave it out.
10-15 minutes before you want to serve this kale salad, assemble it as per the instructions below. Sprinkle over the toasted breadcrumbs just before people dish up to retain the crunch.
Use a microplane to finely grate the Pecorino as a little goes a long way here. The soft snow-like texture evenly distributes throughout the salad.
I’ve used curly kale because that all we can get here, but if you can get Tuscan kale that can be used too.
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This kale salad is not going to win any beauty competitions but what it loses in looks it makes up in flavour. here is a short video of how I made it:
Recipe – serves 4 – 6 as a side – adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Kale salad with Pecorino, walnuts & sultanas
- 50-60 gms walnuts roasted
- 1/3 cup/80ml sultanas/ golden raisins
- 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 Tbs water
- 1/3 cup/80ml Panko crumbs
- 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- ½ garlic clove finely grated (optional)
- ½ - ¾ bunch curly kale or Tuscan kale 250-300gms final cleaned weight
- 3-4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Juice of half a lemon
- 40 gms-50gms Pecorino Romano finely grated on a microplane
- Zest from a ¼ of a lemon optional
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Prep the walnuts: Roast the walnuts in a 180C/350F oven for about 6 minutes until golden. Remove, allow to cool and roughly chop.
- Prep the sultanas: Place the sultanas in a small pot with the white wine vinegar and water and bring it to a boil. Cook over low heat for about 3 minutes then take it off the heat and allow it to cool and further absorb.
- Prep the toasted crumbs: Heat the one tablespoon of olive oil in a small frying pan and add the panko and garlic. Cook over medium heat until golden, stirring regularly. Remove and allow to cool.
- Prep the kale: Thoroughly rinse and dry the kale, stripping the leaves from the stalk with a knife.
- Weigh out the kale. You should have 250-300gms.
- Finely slice the kale into small ribbons/pieces and place in a large bowl.
- Add the olive oil, lemon juice and finely grated pecorino, and thoroughly toss until well coated.
- Add the sultanas/raisins with the reserved vinegar, chopped roasted walnuts, and lemon zest and toss the salad again. Allow this to sit for 10 minutes.
- Serve with the toasted breadcrumbs and more Pecorino grated over the top. Adjust the seasoning to your taste.