Kale salad with goat cheese and hazelnuts

Crunchy with hazelnuts and full of nutritious add-ins this green salad will chase away the winter blues. Just remember to massage the kale first.

The Kitchen Paper
This leafy green kale salad has both crunch and a touch of sweetness.

This salad is based off of a salad that they serve at Garden Bar, a tasty tasty salad restaurant here in Portland, Ore. They call it The Northwest, and I really had no idea what else to call it. “Kale salad with beets, carrots, dried cherries, hazelnuts, goat cheese, magical unicorn tears, and 100 percent straight up awesome”? Too much. Way too much. But really, those are the ingredients (and by magical unicorn tears I really mean hemp hearts and a simple lemon dressing).

If I can give you ONE PIECE OF ADVICE about this salad it is this: MASSAGE YOUR KALE. This is not optional, so it really isn’t advice. This salad will flat out disappoint if you don’t massage your kale. Raw, un-massaged kale? Ew. It’s so tough! And rough! And kinda like eating leafy green cardboard. Do yourself a favor and massage it! Google it if you don’t know how (or read the instructions below…). Also, when I say “raw beet” I mean: RAW BEET. You do not need to cook the beet first. Please DON’T cook the beet first.

To be totally honest, I was out of hemp hearts when I made and photographed this version. I used a different blend of little crunchy things (buckwheat, chia, etc.). USUALLY I use hemp hearts. You can use (or not use, I won’t get mad about this one) whatever you want. Sesame seeds! Hemp hearts! Chia! Nada! Follow your nose/stomach.

Let’s all eat this kale salad and feel like we’re healthier than can be in the new year.

Kale salad with goat cheese and hazelnuts
Serves 4 to 6

2/3 cup hazelnuts, halved
1 large bunch of kale (6-8 cups torn leaves, stems removed)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large (fist-sized) beet, uncooked
2 large carrots
1/3 cup hemp hearts
2/3 cup dried sour cherries
1 tablespoon plain yogurt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 ounces chevre (goat cheese), crumbled

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Spread the hazelnuts in a single layer and bake for 7 to 9 minutes, or until fragrant. Don't burn them! Remove from the oven, and set aside.

2. Cut the kale into small pieces (smaller than dimes). In a large bowl, combine the kale with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Using both hands, reach into the bowl and squeeze/massage the kale. Work with it for about 2 minutes, or until it has noticeably softened in your hands.

3. Grate the beet and both carrots with the large setting on a box grater. Toss, along with the hemp hearts and cherries, into the kale.

4. Combine the remaining olive oil with the yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. Toss with the salad, then top the salad with the hazelnuts and goat cheese. This salad can be made a few hours head of time, and stored in the fridge.

Related post on The Kitchen Paper: Maple Roasted Root Vegetables with Kale & Walnuts

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