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This Kale Salad with Manchego Cheese and Walnuts makes a complete meal in a bowl.
Summertime is salad time, but this Kale, Manchego Cheese and Walnut Salad could be enjoyed during the darkest days of winter, too. It’s healthy, hearty, and so full of protein that it makes a complete meal in a bowl. Tossed with a creamy Caesar dressing, this is a recipe I’ve made over and over again.
This Kale Salad would make an ideal Mason Jar salad to pack for lunch. Start with massaged kale, add some freshly grated Manchego (mild Spanish sheep cheese that is just a little salty and definitely delicious), top with toasted walnuts and hard-boiled eggs and drizzle with this to-die-for dressing.
This dressing is very much like a Caesar dressing without the raw eggs. It’s lemony and creamy and deliciously flavoured with anchovies! It has enough acid in it from lemon juice to tenderize the kale.
If you’re still not sure about Kale Salads, these tips will help make even the most ardent kale-hater into a convert.
- Remove the inner stem or rib and any other tough ribs. Kale can be chewy and hearty.
- Cut, don’t tear. Slice into thin ribbons to make it easier to eat.
- Massage it. Use a teaspoon or two of olive oil and gently massage the oil into the sliced kale ribbons. Massaging helps to break down the tough fibers and tenderize the kale.
- Combine it with strong-flavoured foods like cheese, nuts, seeds, or fruit such as oranges or berries. Kale needs something to complement its earthy flavour.
- Let it rest. Toss it with the dressing, but wait to serve it. Give the vinegar or lemon juice in the dressing time to soften the kale a little.
- Choose Lacinato Kale (also called Dinosaur Kale, Black Kale or Tuscan Kale) for salads. The curly kale is great sautéed or stir-fried, but it can be a little tough in a salad.
Wondering how to avoid that grey ring around your hard-boiled eggs? While there are lots of methods for making perfect hard-boiled eggs circulating on the Internet, this tiny video might be helpful to you.
Kale, Manchego Cheese and Walnut Salad
- 1 bunch of Lacinato Kale washed, patted dry and inner ribs removed
- 1 cup grated cheese (Manchego or Pecorino to make it dairy-free) or Parmesan Reggiano
- 1 cup toasted walnuts
- 4 hard-boiled eggs
- 1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 anchovies packed in oil
- juice from 1 lemon (1/4 cup)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tsp for massaging the kale
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook the eggs and peel once completely cool.
- Toast the walnuts.
- Remove the inner stems from the kale and cut into thin strips. Put in a medium bowl and massage 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil into the strips with your fingers.
- Process the dried chili flakes, garlic, anchovies, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper in a small food processor or blender.
- Toss the kale and the cheese with the dressing and let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour or more.
- Sprinkle with walnuts and arrange the eggs with the salad on a platter or in individual serving bowls.