This is the best kale salad recipe – it’s a copycat of the Barbuto kale salad, loaded with fluffy greens and salty, garlicky breadcrumbs. It comes together quickly in a food processor and is great in the depths of winter as well as in warmer weather. This kale salad is the least sad kale salad you’ll ever have – it’s truly my favorite.
why the barbuto kale salad is the best kale salad
Although far from photogenic, this is the best kale salad in all the land. Kale salads are really trite at this point, but I promise this is the *one* and demonstrates that kale salad is a classic for a reason. All other kale salads should pack up and go home.
It has so few ingredients, you really have nowhere to hide–so take your time and do this correctly. it’s tender, crunchy, anchovy-y, garlicky, and lemony; since it’s all chopped so finely, you can almost eat it with a spoon. (and no you can’t skip the anchovy.)
pro-tips to make a really good kale salad
A note on kale types: there are three types of kale, and most kale salads call for lacinato (also called Tuscan kale or cavolo nero), since it’s the sweetest, has the flattest leaves, and is the more tender of the three types. Curly kale is very curly (duh), and more bitter. Russian kale is purple and in between lacinato and curly on the curly spectrum. I actually have been preferring curly kale lately (?!) and find that a quick whiz in the food processor gets curly kale to the right scale for optimal salad-ing.
You can also not do the final drizzle of olive oil, and the salad will keep in the fridge for the few days, because of how hardy kale is.
Anywho, go forth and kale!
printable recipe for a copycat barbuto kale saladPrint
while this salad isn’t much to look at, it’s fluffy, has crunchy bits and lots of flavor from the garlicky breadcrumbs.
- 1 bunch of curly kale
- 1/4 cup finely blitzed Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 lemon
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
- Your choice of how much breadcrumbs per person, but estimate 1/2-1 cup total
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 3 anchovy fillets, minced
- olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- salt and pepper
- Make the anchovy breadcrumbs – take half a loaf of bread, cut in cubes, and blitz in the food processor until fine. then, take 1 cup of the fresh breadcrumbs and toast in a skillet first dry, to get the bread dried out. Then add the finely minced garlic and minced anchovies, and stir to combine. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper and stir to combine; toast until brown. save the leftovers 🙂
- Chop or food process the kale. strip the kale from its ribs and loosely chop. in the food processor, in batches, whiz and process until fine but not salsa-verde fine — a few pulses. see the close-up pic above for the texture you’re going for. it took me about 4 batches to get through 1 head of kale.
- Grate (or pulse in the food processor, since it’s set up) the pecorino romano.
- Finish. Combine the kale, breadcrumbs, pecorino in a bowl; season to taste with the red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. then, drizzle with lemon juice. Finish with a little drizzle of olive oil, just enough to combine the flavors, nothing more. Taste and adjust any last seasonings, and serve.
I love my Cuisinart for this!
Keywords: barbuto kale salad