Raw Lemon Garlic Marinated Kale Salad

Plate of kale salad and nuts on restaurant table
Lindsay Upson / Getty Images
  • 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Ratings (5)

This raw whole foods recipe for marinated kale salad with lemon and garlic is a quick, easy and truly delicious way to eat your greens. It's especially nice in the summertime when fresh young kale greens are readily available. Choose smaller and younger leaves of kale — they'll yield a more tender dish.

What You'll Need

  • 1 bunch tender young kale
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped very fine
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt to taste

How to Make It

  1. Cut the kale into 1/2-inch wide strips.
  2. Whisk together the lemon, garlic and olive oil and gently toss the mixture with the kale. Add seasoning to taste. Make sure the kale is well coated. It should all appear shiny. 
  3. Let the kale marinate for at least 3 hours or overnight to tenderize.

Tips and Variations

  • Hold the kale firmly in one hand to cut it, then slice it crosswise into ribbons. The strips don't have to be perfect — in fact, the dish is more visually appealing when they're not.
  • You can cut the kale as much as a day ahead. Wrap it in paper towels or plastic and refrigerate. Just don't add the dressing until you're ready to marinate.  
  • You can use Herbamare in place of sea salt. It's sea salt with organic herbs added.  
  • Kale is admittedly an acquired taste, particularly raw kale. It can be somewhat bitter and it's not for everyone, but even those who turn their noses up at kale like this recipe.
  • You can substitute young collards or bok choy for the kale in this recipe, but these veggies have their detractors, too. Collard greens will give the dish a mild, earthy taste, but some people strongly prefer cooked collards, not raw. Bok choy is ​a member of the cabbage family. It lends something of a grassy, nutty flavor. You can experiment until you hit on the version your family likes best. 
  • Add sliced, toasted almonds for a variation. If you don't follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diet, you can also add some Parmesan cheese for a nice touch. Add the almonds and cheese after the kale has marinated, just before serving. 
  • A vegan salad version of this recipe includes a tablespoon of agave nectar in the marinade.
  • You can also add tomatoes, avocados, cabbage or onions for a salad version of this dish. Make the recipe according to the directions, then add the other vegetables just before serving and toss well. 
  • Kale is super nutritious. It's particularly rich in vitamins K, A and C, and it has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 70
Total Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Unsaturated Fat 2 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 57 mg
Carbohydrates 9 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 2 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)