If you are looking for the best kale salad recipe out there, this one is it! This carrot, kale and Parmesan salad is very easy to make and very full of flavor. It makes a wonderful summer salad or a healthy salad anytime of year.
Like many of the recipes on my site, this recipe inspiration for this delicious kale salad came from a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico a few years ago. I stopped at a local restaurant after landing to grab a quick bite to eat for breakfast and this was served on the side with an order of eggs.
This was the best kale salad I ever tasted and it surprisingly has only a few ingredients. This is a raw kale salad that has some basic ingredients added to soften up the kale and make it so delicious.
The ingredients you will need to make this kale and carrot salad are:
- Kale (preferably Lacinato kale because it is smoother).
- Rice wine vinegar (the seasoned kind).
- Olive oil
Now in looking at these simple ingredients it may seem like there is not that much flavor but do not let that fool you. The seasoned rice wine vinegar adds a touch of sweetness and tart while the Parmesan adds that salty bite to the dish.
Because this recipe has only a few ingredients, do make sure you are using real Parmesan. This will have a salty, nutty and lightly sweet flavor that adds that little bit of complexity to each bite.
Here is what the steps look like to make this Carrot with Kale and Parmesan Salad:
- Wash your veggies first then dry them well.
- Cut the kale off of the stems and then cut them into thin ribbons.
- Shred your carrots with a grater on the course side.
- Shred your Parmesan with a grater on the coarse side.
- Add all of your ingredients into a large bowl.
- Now add your olive oil and rice wine vinegar.
- Toss again.
- Let sit for 15-30 minutes.
This raw kale salad is not at all bitter because of the seasoned rice wine vinegar that is added to it. It is actually a little sweet with a little saltiness from the cheese. It is really a delicious mix of flavors.
This kale salad as I mentioned earlier makes a great summer salad but it is also great anytime you want a light side dish that is healthy. I am a huge fan of kale and I usually serve it cooked in my recipes like with my sausage and kale pasta or my farro and kale minestrone, but this raw kale salad just really works!
How to serve this Carrot, Kale and Parmesan Salad:
- I love this served as a side to my eggs (like how I was served it in Sante Fe, New Mexico).
- This makes a great side dish for grilled meats, especially when you want to have a fresh dish to serve.
- Serve this as a side to go along with sandwiches. I often will make this salad and just buy cold cuts and hoagie rolls for a quick but well rounded meal.
- Eat it just on it's own! In the summer I love making this kale salad because it is light and full of nutrients that keep me going during those longer summer days.
There are so many ways you can make use of this delicious salad. There is no wrong way to serve this one. It is delicious and it is healthy and I think you will love it.
Common questions about kale:
Can you eat kale raw?
Yes you can and many kale recipes utilize raw kale. Raw kale is healthy and good for you and with the dressing on this kale salad it is also really tasty.
Can you make this kale salad ahead of time?
You can. Kale is a tougher leafy green so its leaves do not get mushy and soft too fast. I do like having a little crunch in my kale salad when I make it so I will prepare it only 30 minutes to an hour ahead of time. If you do want to save it for the next day, just know it will soften a little with time.
If I do not have rice wine vinegar can I substitute another vinegar for that in the recipe?
The rice wine vinegar, specifically the seasoned rice wine vinegar lends a lot of flavor to this dish that you cannot get from regular vinegar. It is also a more mild vinegar. If you do want to substitute then white vinegar with a little water added to it along with a pinch of salt and sugar will work.
Carrot, Kale and Parmesan Salad
- 2 bunches of kale preferably Lacinato kale
- 2 carrots coarsely shredded
- ¼ cup Parmesan coarsely shredded
- 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive oIl
- 2 tsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
- Clean and dry your kale and carrots.
- With a carrot peeler, peel the outer layer of your carrots.
- Now with a box grater or a grater with a coarse setting, grate your carrots and add to a large bowl.
- Grate ¼ cup of Parmesan with a coarse grater and add to the bowl.
- Cut the kale leaves off the stems of the kale.
- Stack your kale leaves on top of each other and cut them into ½ inch ribbons.
- Add your kale to the bowl with the carrots and Parmesan.
- Now add your olive oil and seasoned rice wine vinegar.
- Toss well.
- Let sit for at least 15-30 minutes.