Behind the scenes at TODAY, Senior Food Stylist Alli Simpson loves to surprise the staff with treats like her out-of-this-world banana bread and superb homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Believe it or not, when Alli whipped up this salad, it may have disappeared even faster than her spectacular sweets! From segment producers to digital editors, we all fell hard for this healthy and simple four-ingredient meal that is perfect in its simplicity. (The four ingredients doesn't count kitchen staples olive oil and salt and pepper).
Other kale salads that we’ve made call for us to tenderize the leafy green with a “massage.” There’s no need with this salad because the kale naturally softens thanks to the lemon juice in the vinaigrette. In fact, the longer the dressing settles into the kale, the better the salad becomes.
Great for a quick weeknight meal or elegant dinner party, the versatile salad is delicious alone as a side or can be made into a heartier meal when mixed with your favorite seasonal add-ins of the moment.
- 1 large bunch (or 2 small bunches) green curly leaf kale, cleaned and torn into small pieces, stems and large inner ribs removed
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup grated Parmesan or Grana Padana
- 1 cup roasted beets or other roasted seasonal vegetables
- 1/2 cup cannellini beans or chickpeas
- 1/2 cup sourdough croutons
- 1/2 cup (1 large rib) celery, chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup olives
Place the torn kale leaves in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, using a fork, whisk together the garlic, lemon and olive oil until emulsified. Discard the garlic then pour the mixture over the kale and toss together. Add a sprinkle of the salt, lots of freshly ground black pepper and the Parmesan.
Toss together and serve or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
Add the additional toppings of your choice before serving.