Southwestern-Flavored Kale Salad

Southwestern Kale Salad

Kale, corn, avocado, and tomatoes add up to a seriously delicious salad. With the optional beans, it’s a fantastic main dish salad. Without the added beans, it’s a great companion to tortilla specialties containing beans—burritos, enchiladas, and the like. Recipe adapted from  Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas.

Serves: 6 to 8

  • 8- to 10-ounce bunch curly kale
  • 2 cups raw or lightly cooked fresh corn kernels
  • 1 medium firm, ripe avocado, peeled and diced
  • 2 to 3 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into short, narrow strips
  • 1/2 cup green pimiento olives
  • 2 cups cooked or drained and rinsed black beans or pinto beans, optional
    (omit beans if serving this with a bean dish)
  • 2 to 3 scallions, green parts only, sliced
  • 1 to 2  tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, as desired
  • Juice of 1 lime, more or less to taste
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Strip the kale leaves away from the stems (kitchen shears are good for this). Discard the stems, or slice them very thinly. Cut the kale leaves into narrow strips. Rinse well and pat dry.

Southwestern Kale salad

Transfer kale to a serving bowl. With a little olive oil rubbed into your palms, massage the kale for a minute or less, until it becomes bright green and softens a bit.

Add the remaining ingredients and toss together gently (use salt sparingly, if at all). Let the salad stand for 10 to 15 minutes if time allows, to let the flavors blend, then serve.

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8 Responses to “Southwestern-Flavored Kale Salad”

  1. JennyG says:

    Since there is no cooking involved, I suggest using a heart-healthy oil, such as unfiltered flax or hemp seed oil instead of olive oil. When consumed daily in small quantities, these seed oils provide the body with a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which has been observed to improve cardiovascular health.

  2. No need to massage the kale. The salt and other dressing ingredients will soften it.

  3. Nava says:

    If the kale is already tender, like from the garden, or for baby kale, that’s true. But for any other, I think massaging makes all the difference in the world for the mouth feel.

  4. For those that don’t use oil, you can do the massaging with avocado, tahini or nut butter. Works just fine. I use it in my kale salad.

    Massaging does make a difference and you get to add some love to your salad while giving your greens that massage.

    Thanks for the great recipe Nava.

  5. Nava says:

    Hi Jill! Yes, that’s exactly right. Since this salad uses avocado, you can just mash a little up, rub it on your palms, and then massage as you would with oil. Kale can be massaged with any dressing you happen to be using, and a little goes a long way.

  6. Susan Kinsey says:

    I would love it if you could please make it possible to put these amazing recipes on our Pinterest boards.

  7. Nava says:

    Hi Susan — there are sharing tools right under the titles of the recipes, plus if you mouse over individual photos, you should see the Pinterest symbol pop up. Is it not showing up for you?

  8. Liz says:

    Looks awesome – will make this this weekend

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