kale salad

fruity shredded kale salad, for a crowd by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

i may have come to the massaged kale game a few years too late, but can a girl get points for showing up eventually?? i was initially put off my massaged kale salads because of a bad experience i had with one a few years ago.  perhaps that restaurant was having a bad day, or maybe my senses weren't up to par, but the kale was super tough and hard to swallow. i specifically remember guzzling my water to get the curly itchy kale down my pipes.  since then i've been completely turned off.  however, a few months ago i was developing a recipe for a client who wanted to pair their granola clusters with something savory.  i knew i needed a substantial and hearty green, something that could cut through the sweetness.  and that's when i overcame my irrational fear of massaged kale!

along the way i've not only come to tolerate a kale salad, but absolutely love and crave it on most days!  i've found that a sufficient amount of massaging action, and a good period of rest really lets the kale chill out, relax a bit, and become more tender.  i also learned that a really tasty and substantial dressing goes a long way. i tend to go with a creamy base, either tahini or dairy-free yogurt, just to give it another texture.  while most days i add some form of grain or protein to the salad, today i wanted to add some of cold weather's most sweet and colorful fruit. the idea was to add an even ratio of kale to fruit to make somewhat of a savory fruit salad ;) with the holidays and all the festivities around the new year, i thought a mountainous bowl of this salad was appropriate for some celebratin'! i love making this the day before i serve it - the fruit absorbs a good amount of the dressing beautifully, while the kale becomes suuuper soft and almost delicate.  it most certainly has become a new favorite around here! what are some of your go-to holiday dishes to serve to a crowd?

happy holiday season! xo

*and if you didn't see my last post, my cookbook (over in the right top corner ---->)  is available for pre-order!

fruity shredded kale salad (gf + v)

| serves 6 to 8 as a side |

creamy shallot dressing

  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free cultured yogurt (i use this one)
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • 2 bunches kale, shredded
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 2 to 3 clementines or satsumas, peeled, segmented, and sliced in half
  • 1 large asian pear
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts


  1. to make the dressing, combine the chopped shallots, vinegar, and salt in a shallow bowl for 10 minutes, until the shallots have softened a bit.  then, in a food processor or blender, combine the shallot and vinegar mix with the remaining ingredients and blend until thoroughly combined.  taste and adjust if necessary.  transfer to a lidded container until ready to use. dressing can be made a couple days in advance.
  2. to a large bowl, add the shredded kale; season with a couple pinches of salt, and some fresh pepper to taste. add about 2 to 3 tablespoons of dressing and use your hands to massage the kale for at least 5 minutes (until your hands are adequately green in color!); the kale should be looking darker in color and feel more tender. let the kale sit for another 10 minutes.
  3. add the fruit and another tablespoon or 2 of the dressing and toss until incorporated. serve the salad right away or refrigerate it for up to 1 day in advance. (if refrigerating, i suggest taking the salad out at least 2 hours before serving, letting it come to room temp.)


more crowd-pleasing recipes:

an easy holiday party menu

an easy holiday party menu

taco party gathering

taco party gathering

roasted golden beet + shallot dip

roasted golden beet + shallot dip

warm sautéed grapes, autumn kale + edamame salad w/ shiso vinaigrette by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

a few times this past week i found myself in a super unfamiliar place; my hands and counters covered with non-gluten free flour, the smell of yeast and honey proofing - and when it didn't proof - the anxiety of whether my instant yeast from the back of pantry was still alive!   moments of worry? sure.  but the process of making bread by hand lands on the more gratifying side of the kitchen accomplishment spectrum for sure - weighing of flours, proofing of yeast, kneading, oh the kneading (can we just call this therapy? because i haven't had a moment of zen like that in the kitchen in quite awhile!), the RISE, the second rise, and finally the baking of it all.  i made 2 different challahs for the jewish new year this past week, both using whole spelt flour, and while i couldn't partake in the devouring of it i did manage to sneak a few nibbles (but stopped when my face broke out in a couple hives and my belly felt like lead - oy!).  it was dense and sweet and just the best piece of gluten i've sunken my teeth into in quite some time.  perhaps i've come to a certain place (or age) where i can really appreciate why there are a vast amount of books, techniques and procedures for the baking up of some leavened goodness because it is so clearly a form of art (and testament to one's patience!).  so, maybe if i gather up enough guts to venture into the bread baking world there will be a post in the future, but for now i'm leaving that to the experts (here and here) and sticking with what i know best: fruits + veggies! 

while i'm not the biggest fan of raw kale in general, i find that the baby variety is a lot easier going down and it's actually one of my favorite greens to use this time of year.  however, strong flavors and some good old fashion texture help out too when there's a big bowl of greens waiting to be chewed up.  enter: grapes, edamame, nuts + seeds; plus a super punchy, but herby, shiso vinaigrette.  it's a more plenteous salad than i was used to eating this summer, full of rich flavors like, sweet/savory warm grapes, earthy beans, and garlic-toasted nuts.  so, i guess as october is already here, this salad is a salute to next few months of more considerable, substantial fall meals.

happy october, all! xo

sautéed grapes, autumn kale + edamame salad w/ shiso vinaigrette 

if you can't find shiso leaves where you are, i would say that a mixture of basil, lemon verbena, and mint should suffice.  or, you could perhaps try 1/4 cup thai basil with some lemon zest for somewhat of a similar vibe.  and if you're not using fresh edamame pods, frozen ones are just as good. 

| serves 4 |


shiso vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup packed shiso leaves
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (if you don't have mirin, substitute with 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup/honey/brown sugar
  • salt + pepper to taste


  • 4-5 cups baby kale
  • 1/2 cup cooked edamame
  • 4 green onions, white and light green parts sliced thin
  •  1 cup grapes, halved
  • 1 tablespoon raw pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • extra virgin olive oil + splash of toasted sesame oil
  • salt + pepper
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • shiso flowers (or small leftover shiso leaves)


shiso vinaigrette

  • in a food processor, add the shiso, vinegar, mirin, olive oil, sesame oil, and syrup (or sweetener of choice) and pulse until leaves are broken up and liquid is mixed.  taste and adjust seasoning.  using a fine mesh sieve over a small fitted jar, strain the vinaigrette; use the back of a spatula or spoon to squish all of the liquid.  cover jar and place in the refrigerator until ready to use

sautéed grapes

  • heat a skillet on medium heat, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan; add the smashed garlic and pine nuts along with a pinch of salt.  cook until garlic is fragrant and nuts have toasted a bit - about 1-2 minutes - then add the halved grapes (try to arrange the grapes cut side down to get a bit of caramelization on them, but don't make yourself crazy, they will taste just as good!).  let them cook for about 1 minute, until their bubbly and juicy.  dispose of smashed garlic, and sprinkle with parsley; remove pan from heat and let the grapes rest

arrange salad

  • in a large serving bowl, mix kale, edamame, green onions with a couple tablespoons of vinaigrette - taste and adjust - then add the warm sautéed grapes and pine nuts.  gently toss the salad and adjust dressing and seasoning.  serve with toasted sesame seeds and shiso flowers/small shiso leaves