Dinosaur Kale, also known as Tuscan Kale and Lacinato Kale, is my favorite variety of kale. The leaves are long and thick, the texture firmer and wrinkled, yet tender – perfect for a hearty, filling salad. Dressing clings to every nook and cranny of the shredded leaves instead of pooling at the bottom of the salad bowl. The flavor of Dinosaur Kale isn’t as bitter as curly kale, it’s slightly sweeter and more earthy.
This particular kale salad is chock full of roasted golden beets and golden raisins. Golden beets are not as earthy as red beets; they have a sweeter, more mellow flavor that pairs nicely with Dinosaur Kale.
The golden raisins add a slight chewiness to the salad’s texture without the tartness (as we’ve found with dried cranberries). The lemon in the tahini dressing helps tenderize the Dinosaur Kale’s fibrous leaves. The walnuts add crunch and additional protein for a well-rounded salad perfect for either lunch or dinner.
- 2 bunches Dinosaur Kale, stems removed, shredded
- 3 medium golden beets, peeled and cut into ½" cubes
- ½ cup golden raisins
- ½ cup crushed walnuts
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ tbsp tahini
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley leaves
- 1½ tbsp water
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Lay a large sheet of aluminum foil across a baking sheet. Place the beets, peeled and cut into ½" pieces, on top of the foil sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray, tossing to coat. Lay another long sheet of foil on top, sealing the edges tightly, to enclose the beets in a foil packet. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the beets are fork tender. Remove from foil packet and place into a bowl to cool.
- Wash the kale and remove the thick stems running down the middle of the leaves. Slice the leaves into thin shreds and place in a large bowl.
- In a food processor, pulse the garlic cloves a few times until minced. Add the remaining dressing ingredients, pulsing until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour half the dressing over the kale, massaging it into the shredded leaves for 1-2 minutes with your hands, until fully coated. Let sit for at least twenty minutes to marinate and tenderize the leaves.
- Once the beets have cooled, add to the kale along with the raisins, walnuts, and remaining dressing (or a little less, per your taste). Toss to coat and season with additional salt and pepper.
- Divide onto four plates and serve immediately.
Reminder: Always make sure your work surfaces, utensils, pans and tools are free of gluten. Always read product labels. Manufacturers can change product formulations without notice. When in doubt, do not buy or use a product before contacting the manufacturer for verification that the product is free of gluten.