Side dish
comments 2

Kale Salad with Pomegranate, Candied Walnuts, and Lemon Zatar Dressing

The real omnivore’s dilemma – what do I do with all this kale from my CSA box?

Raw kale salad is the hot recipe on the Internet.

I’m late to the party. I scoffed when I first saw this recipe. Kale is a tough green, something that needs to be cooked before you eat it. Raw kale? That will never work.

What I missed was the marinade massage. You have to get your hands messy and rub the dressing all over the raw kale. Then it rests for at least a half hour before serving. Kenji Alt explains what happens in this post – the oil in the dressing removes the cuticle that protects the leaves, allowing the dressing to penetrate and break down the tough kale.
*Have you guys had enough of my man-crush on Kenji yet? Well, hang on, because his two-volume “The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science” is coming later this year. I can’t wait.

The other kale salad advantage? Leftovers. Kale salad will keep in the refrigerator for days after the kale is massaged with the dressing. The tough kale leaves won’t wilt, unlike lettuce, where the leaves turn soggy overnight. I make extra large batches of kale salad and save some for lunches later in the week.

Recipe: Kale Salad with Pomegranate, Candied Walnuts, and Lemon Zatar Dressing

Adapted from Kenji Alt Marinated Kale and Chickpea Salad, along with the other recipes listed above.

Marinating time: 60 minutes


  • 1 bunch (12 ounces) kale, leaves chopped into thin strips and stems discarded
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon zatar seasoning (or substitute 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves)
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • pomegranate arils (arils from half a pomegranate)
  • 1/2 cup candied walnuts


1. Massage and marinate the kale
In a large bowl, rub the olive oil onto the kale leaves until all the leaves are coated with oil. Let rest at room temperature for at least a half hour, or up to five days covered in the refrigerator.

2. Dress the salad
Sprinkle the salt and zatar over the kale, add the lemon juice and sliced shallot, and toss until everything is well mixed. Sprinkle the pomegranate arils and candied walnuts on top, then serve.


  • I got slightly more tender kale by rubbing with the oil first, then saving the rest of the dressing for later. If you want to make this a one step salad, whisk the oil with the salt, zatar, and lemon juice before massaging the salad, and add the shallots and pomegranate to the kale immediately.

What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts:

Baked Kale Chips
Lemon Herb Dressing

*Enjoyed this post? Want to help out DadCooksDinner? Subscribe to DadCooksDinner using the RSS or Email options on the right, link to this post from your blog, recommend DadCooksDinner to your friends, or buy something from through the links on this site. Thank you.

Sharing is caring!

Filed under: Side dish


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.