Simple Kale Salad

If ever you find yourself in Park City, Utah, we might have just a few (or 15!) food recommendations. Park City is home to some of the best food in the state, and Handle is one of our absolute favorites. Everything at Handle is always spectacular, from the appetizers to the entrees and, of course, dessert. While you may easily skim over the simple kale salad to opt for snazzier-sounding app options, we implore you to reconsider. This kale salad, made with chopped kale, a homemade champagne vinaigrette, topped with pine nuts and parmigiano reggiano, is the perfect accompaniment to balance out the rest of your meal.

How to Make a Next-Level Simple Kale Salad

After being so inspired by Handle’s simple kale salad, we set out to create a version of our own. Here are a few tips to elevate kale from tough and flavorless into a salad you’ll want to make again and again.

  • Kale belongs to the brassica family of vegetables (think cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and collard greens) and is known for being quite tough and fibrous. Not exactly what we’re looking for in a salad. However, massaging chopped kale with a little olive oil before adding other ingredients starts to break down those fibers and yields a softer, less abrasive green with a nicer bite.
  • While you can buy pre-toasted nuts, we highly recommend taking the extra step to toast them yourself. The pine nuts start to release their oils when freshly toasted and add a huge flavor boost that’s incomparable. If you don’t want to bust out the food processor to chop the pine nuts, a quick run-through with a chef’s knife will do the trick as well.
  • Champagne vinegar can be a bit hard to source but is worth seeking out. It’s less harsh-tasting than other vinegars and has a subtle sweetness that works so well here. In a pinch, white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar will do, but you may find your dressing needs a touch of honey to compensate.
  • Don’t skimp on the cheese. Use a microplane to grate the parm into a fluffy pile perfect for showering the kale. Pre-grated cheese just won’t work here.

Serving Suggestions

Our simple kale salad is truly a weeknight champion – minimal chopping, minimal prep time, and minimal dishes. Pair it with other equally doable weeknight favorites like these 30-minute meatballs or our tortellini alla panna. Because kale is quite sturdy, the dressed salad will keep for a day or two in the fridge. Liven it back up with a fresh shower of parm for good measure.


Kale Salad with Pine Nuts & Parm

Brooke Eliason
Servings: 8 servings
Total Time: 15 mins
Difficulty: Easy
Our simple kale salad is truly a weeknight champion – minimal chopping, minimal prep time, and minimal dishes.


  • cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 10-ounce package of Kale, cut and rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
  • ½ Tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • cup finely grated parmigiano reggiano


  • In a small pan over medium heat, toast the pine nuts for 5-7 minutes, until golden brown and aromatic. Allow to fully cool. Pulse pine nuts in a food processor a few times until you have finely chopped pine nuts. Do not over pulse or your nuts will turn into a powder. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, massage the kale with 2 Tablespoons of the extra virgin oil until tender. Remove any pieces of kale rib. In a small bowl whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, champagne vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour over kale and toss (you might not need all of the dressing). Top with pine nuts, grated parmigiana reggiano, and serve.

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