Chef John's Raw Kale Salad Recipe -
Chef John's Raw Kale Salad Recipe
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How to Make Kale Salad
Transform a slightly bitter green into something truly delicious. See more
  • READY IN 15 mins

Chef John's Raw Kale Salad

Recipe by  

"If you slice kale thin and toss it with other tasty treats like apple, persimmon, orange, and nuts, the kale mellows out and serves as a perfect foil for other vegetation."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins

    15 mins


  1. Whisk vinegar, orange juice, Dijon mustard, orange zest, cumin, and red pepper flakes together in a bowl. Slowly pour olive oil into the orange juice mixture, whisking until thick and thoroughly combined. Season dressing with salt and black pepper.
  2. Remove stems from each leaf of kale. Stack 3 to 4 leaves of kale and roll together. Finely slice kale leaves crosswise to create thin ribbons.
  3. Combine sliced kale, persimmon, apple, orange, and pistachio nuts in a bowl. Add dressing and toss until well coated.
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  • Cook's Note:
  • Learn how to make orange supremes in this video.
  • You can use pistachios or the nut of your choice.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Aug 19, 2013

We search for new ways to incorporate kale into our meal planning because of its super nutritional benefits. Thought about skipping over this recipe since we’re not big fans of most vinaigrette dressings, especially those loaded in oil. But a closer look indicated a moderate amount being used (1/3 cup olive oil). The orange flavor of this dressing really shines through, and very tasty. Next time, I will experiment using the exact same salad dressing ingredients except adding Greek low-fat yogurt and either significantly reducing the olive oil or eliminating it entirely. First try Chef John’s vinaigrette, and then subsequently make a creamy dressing if that is your pleasure. There were no persimmons available so we subbed dried apricots. We cut the kale in ‘ribbons’ as directed but don’t believe this helps to mellow it out. Much easier to eat bite size pieces than wrestle with something like long green slippery ribbons. Tried this salad right after making it, and would have rated it 4*. After letting it rest in fridge for about 4 hours, kale mellowed out a bit more and the flavors melded together nicely. If not eating this salad immediately, soak the apple matchsticks in a solution of lemon juice/water to impede browning. This is a keeper.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jan 17, 2015

Nice enough, but my family found the flavor a bit strong, so we didn't really enjoy it much.

Apr 27, 2013


Jan 09, 2014

This is a delicious way to prepare Kale, which I normally just bake into chips. I didn't have orange juice or orange zest so I substituted grapefruit juice and lemon juice (instead of the zest). I also used almonds instead of the pistachios but next time I would used chopped pistachios, I think they would go well with the flavors. I also let the salad sit without the apples for 5 hours. The kale softened and the flavors deepened. I added the apple at the end. Would be a great dinner salad if you added some grilled chicken, preferably marinated with similar Middle Eastern or Indian flavors.

Nov 02, 2013

Followed recipe exactly. For the salt and pepper to taste, used 1/2 tsp salt and no pepper. Oh, and didn't slice it as thinly as Chef John specified. Served it at a potluck and every last bite was eaten up.

Sep 20, 2013

We generally like kale, but mostly eat it cooked. This salad had terrific flavors and I love the texture of the raw kale! We didn't have persimmons, but used dried pineapple instead, and sliced almonds instead of pistacchios. Sooo good! Even my husband and 5 year old loved it!

Jan 12, 2015

We loved this! Maybe it was because we had especially fresh and delicious ingredients, but my husband said it was one of the best salads he'd ever had. I used raw walnuts instead of pistachios, left off persimmon, used 1 regular orange and one blood orange, pink lady apple. Also used less olive oil and a touch more Dijon, red pepper and vinegar in the dressing.

Sep 28, 2014

Doing a chiffonade with the kale is brilliant. It's an excellent way to bring this springy green under control. The dressing is delicious, and my only change was to use seasoned rice vinegar. It was light, citrusy, and perfect with the fruit. Pistachio nuts were a nice touch, too. I didn't have any persimmon, but the salad was very good without it.


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  • Calories
  • 292 kcal
  • 15%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 21.3 g
  • 7%
  • Cholesterol
  • 0 mg
  • 0%
  • Fat
  • 22.7 g
  • 35%
  • Fiber
  • 4.1 g
  • 17%
  • Protein
  • 5.7 g
  • 11%
  • Sodium
  • 212 mg
  • 8%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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