Kale is one of my favourite green leaves to put into a salad because you can pre-toss it in dressing and it won’t get limp for days. My general method with most kale salads is to massage the kale leaves by chopping them and then squeezing them between my hands for about three minutes. It makes a world of a difference because the relaxed kale leaves become softer and more flavourful.
These days, I’m tossing my kale salads with roasted spring vegetables. Any three vegetables that roast well would work in this recipe, but do try and look for different coloured vegetables to get the most variety. Here I used carrots, leeks and beetroots. I’m using some irresistibly cute mini vegetables which I found in my market, but if you can’t use mini-sized vegetables feel free to use the regular-sized ones and simply cut them into bite-sized chunks.
Kale and Spring Vegetable Salad
5 Tbsp EVOO
2½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Good pinch of sea salt
1 bunch of kale (about 8 large leaves)
400g baby carrots
400g baby leeks
200g baby beetroot
Nuts (optional, for garnishing)
Extra virgin olive oil for roasting the vegetables
Sea salt for roasting the vegetables
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400C.
- Wash, peel and trim the carrots. If they are baby carrots, cut them in half lengthwise. If they are regular sized carrots, cut them into generous bite-size pieces.
- Remove the outside layer of the leeks and trim off the top and bottom. Wash well. If you are using baby leeks, leave them whole. If you are using regular sized leeks, cut them into large chunks.
- In a medium-sized baking dish, add the carrots and leeks and toss them with 2-3 Tbsp of EVOO and a generous pinch of sea salt. Roast them for around 30 minutes until nicely caramelised, tossing once halfway through cooking. When they are ready, remove them from the oven and allow to cool.
- To roast the beetroots, first wash the skin and cut off the leaves at the top. Wrap in two layers of aluminum foil and place on a baking tray. Roast them for around 1 hour (or until a skewer goes easily through the beetroot). When they are ready, open the foil and allow them to cool. Once cool, pinch off their skin with your fingers and cut into bite-sized cubes.
- While everything is roasting, you can prepare the kale by removing the leaves from the thick stalks down the center. Discard the stalks.
- Wash and dry the kale leaves, then roughly chop them.
- Place the chopped kale in a large bowl and massage it by squeezing it between your hands for 3 minutes (set the timer). This will make the kale softer and more tasty, and in my opinion is a necessary step for any raw kale salad.
- Toss the massaged kale with all the dressing ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
- Add the carrots, leeks and beetroots and toss well.
- Scatter some nuts on top for garnish (they can be added at this point or just prior to serving).
- Refrigerate for up to 3 days.