Vibrant Kale Salad with Toasted Almonds: A Healthy Delight

Vibrant Kale Salad with Toasted Almonds: A Healthy Delight

Published on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 by Kelly Velting

Crunch into Health with this Kale Salad Recipe

Kale is a strangely versatile vegetable that has remained popular despite Jim Gaffigan’s veiled threat to throw the bowl back in your face should you brag about serving it. (If you haven’t watched his Netflix special Obsessed yet, you’re in for a treat. Go watch it immediately. Wait. First, read the rest of this article, and THEN go watch it immediately. Have a laugh! It’s good for you. And then make this recipe.)

You've found the right recipe if you crave a crunchy, crispy salad with a little sour and bitter, salty flavor. To make this salad, you'll need to first toast some sliced almonds in a pan for a few minutes until they're fragrant and golden brown.

Kale can be tougher than a stale pretzel bun, so you want to tenderize it for a cold salad. 

To tenderize the kale for this cold salad, you'll need to wash your hands well and really get your back into it. You will work for it, but it’s so worth it. The rugged texture of kale allows it to stand up to an overnight in the refrigerator, even sitting in the dressing. 

How do I massage my kale? So glad you asked! 

Place the colander in the sink and run a slow stream of cool water over the kale while you massage it. I like to grab a handful and squeeze it while I tear it apart with the opposite hand. Keep doing that until your forearms get tired.  OK, you don’t have to wait that long, but the leaves should be wilty by the time you’re done.  

Add this kale salad with toasted almonds to your next salad night or side dish plan, and enjoy these fun alternatives to try:

  • Vegan or vegetarian options:  
    • Make it an entrée salad with 1-2 cans of rinsed, drained chickpeas.  
    • You could also top it with crunchy croutons and diced fresh avocado.
    • Sauté some crispy marinated tempeh.
  • Add ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese if you don’t need the salad to be dairy-free. The cheese adds a great salty appeal.  
  • Grill a piece of salmon for each person, and now you have a meal. Extra lemon tastes great, squeezed over the whole plate.
  • Do you like a more peppery flavor? Slice up a red radish and mix that in.
  • Do you hate kale and all the work in making it tender? Substitute all the kale steps with “buy one large container of salad-ready arugula.” Easy!

[[ recipeID=recipe-8lmru1y9o, title=Kale Salad with Toasted Almonds ]]

Leave a comment on this article:

Kale Salad with Toasted Almonds

Servings: 6


  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins




  • 2 bunches Fresh, Curly Kale
  • ¾ cup Olive Oil (dark or light)
  • 1 Lemon (whole)
  • 1 large Shallot, minced
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Mustard (Dijon or Stone Ground Mustard)
  • ¾ - 1 cup Sliced Almonds


  1. Wash hands thoroughly. You’re going to get your arms into this recipe!
  2. Remove the stems from the kale and discard. In a large colander, toss in the kale leaves, start tearing them apart into bite-size pieces, and massage them. 
  3. Then rinse the leaves well and gently ring out some of the water. Toss into a large bowl. 
  4. Zest the lemon peel with a fruit zester, or use the tiny side of a box grater. Be careful not to include too much bitter pith (white part). If the zest pieces are long strings, chop them into tiny pieces with your knife.
  5. Juice the lemon: Cut the lemon in half and remove the seeds. Stick a fork in the open end and move back and forth while you squeeze the lemon into the liquid measuring cup. Juice the lemon until you have at least ¼ cup of lemon juice. If the lemon is too small, add bottled lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to make up the rest.  
  6. Remove the peel from the shallot and dice small. Set aside. 
  7. Fill the rest of the measuring cup with ¾ cup olive oil. Add mustard, salt, and chopped shallots. Whisk together to combine. Pour over kale greens and massage into the greens for another minute or two. Cover and set aside in the refrigerator.  
  8. Heat a medium sauté pan on the stove at low/medium temperature. Pour sliced almonds into the hot sauté pan on the stove. (Stay near! Don’t walk away from the almonds.  You might forget and burn them.) When you hear them sizzle, gently stir them with a spoon to brown both sides. Once they are sufficiently golden brown (they’ll smell good now), remove from the pan and set aside to cool.  
  9. Add cooled almonds to kale salad and toss to combine. 
  10. Serve cold.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1

Serving Per Recipe: 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 355
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 32.7g 50%
Saturated Fat 4.3g 21%
Trans Fat 0g
Sodium 264.7mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3.4g 13%
Sugars 0g
Protein 5.8g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:


Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan Optional

Tools: 1 large bowl, 1 large colander, cutting board, measuring pitcher, fork, zester, and chef’s knife, medium sauté pan, clean hands, fresh water from the tap, salad serving utensils