This Everyday Kale Salad with Meyer Lemon Dressing hits all the right notes for me. It’s hearty, fresh, zippy, and it couldn’t be simpler to make. Plus, once you make this salad I swear you’ll eat way more kale because it’s just that flavorful. Here, Lacinato kale is dressed with a bright, naturally sweet Meyer Lemon Dressing. Meyer lemons are much sweeter than regular lemons, and they are thought to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange. I am slightly obsessed with Meyer lemons when they come into season and I think you will be, too.
Let’s talk about how this salad comes together. This recipe is shockingly low-maintenance for how delicious it is, which means I’m much more likely to throw it together on a weeknight when I just want something easy. To make this recipe, you’ll whisk up the dressing, toss in the kale, and really massage the kale with your hands for a minute to help take the bitter edge off. Let the salad sit for about 30 minutes and you’re good to go! Enjoy the salad as is, or top it with your favorite crunchy and creamy fixin’s. Check out my notes under the recipe instructions to see my suggestions for ways to spin this recipe depending on what you have in your kitchen and/or your dietary preferences. Whatever you do – bookmark this recipe, it’s a keeper.
Everyday Kale Salad with Meyer Lemon Dressing
Meyer Lemon Dressing
- 2 Teaspoons Meyer zemon zest plus more for serving if desired
- 1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Fresh Meyer lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 2 Bunches Lacinato or Dino Kale
- Freshly grated parmesan
- Toasted breadcrumbs
- Toasted pistachios or almonds
- Shredded rotisserie chicken
- cooked grains, such as quinoa or farro
Make the dressing
- In large bowl, whisk together Meyer lemon zest, Meyer lemon juice, and honey. Generously season with kosher salt. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until combined.
Prep the kale
- To remove the stems, with one piece of kale at a time, hold the stem with one hand and use your other head to run your fingers along the kale to pull the leaves away. Repeat with remaining kale. Discard stems.
Toss to combine + let sit for 30 minutes.
- Roughly chop kale and toss in large bowl with Meyer lemon dressing, adding more Meyer lemon zest if desired. Let sit for 30 minutes to soften the leaves and take some of the earthy, bitter bite off of the kale.
- Serve with desired toppings or as is.
A FEW NOTES ON RIFFS:
- The Lemon: Meyer lemons are the move here. If you can’t find them, regular lemons will work, but they are more acidic, so you’ll want to up the sweetness by perhaps doing part fresh lemon and part fresh orange juice, or with a few extra drizzles of honey in the dressing.
- The Kale: While Lacinatio or dino kale is my favorite, Tuscan, or curly kale, also works here. You could also enjoy this dressing on any other leafy green, and if you go that route, don’t let it sit in the dressing for 30 minutes, instead, dress right before serving.
- The Honey: Honey adds a welcome and complimentary floral kind of sweetness. If you can’t have it for any reason, simply leave it out!
- The Toppings: I love this salad for it’s simplicity but don’t let that stop you from adding all the crunchy, creamy things. For crunch, I love toasted breadcrumbs, crispy chickpeas, or toasted pistachios or almonds. For added richness, crumbled goat or feta cheese are great additions.
- Round it Out: Make this more of a meal with your favorite protein, like shredded rotisserie chicken, and/or incorporating cooked grains, like quinoa or farro.