This healthy kale and broccoli salad will blow you away with its variety of textures, bright colours and our tastebud awakening creamy balsamic dressing. A satisfying make-ahead salad perfect for entertaining large crowds.
I usually make this salad with regular broccoli but when I walked into the greengrocers it was looking a bit worse for wear. I turned the corner and ran across gorgeous little bunches of broccolini which is milder and sweeter than regular broccoli and at 2 bunches for $3 (what a bargain) I just couldn’t resist.
The ingredients in kale And broccoli salad with variations
- Kale was used as a base for this salad as the leaves are strong and hold up well in a salad. It can be replaced with any hearty leafy greens such as chard or silverbeet to hold up to the creamy dressing in this salad.
- Broccoli for its full strong green flavour and crunch swap it with cauliflower, Brussels sprouts or spring asparagus.
- Carrots for a pop of colour and sweetness try some grated raw sweet potato or try red cabbage or radicchio for a pop of crimson colour instead.
- Chopped pecans for butteriness, crunch and protein which can be replaced with any nuts that take your fancy such as walnuts, almond, macadamias or even seeds such as pepitas or sunflower seesaws.
- Creamy balsamic made with protein-rich tahini, balsamic and a dash of maple for sweetness swap with store-bought balsamic glaze.
How to make this kale and broccoli salad
Wash your kale under cold running water, either rip the leafy parts of the kale from the ribs or cut them off with a knife then discard the ribs. Finely shred your kale leaves.
Place your kale leaves in a large mixing bowl, add some salt and 2 tablespoons of oil and gently rub the leaves together for approximately 3-5 minutes to soften your kale for a more palatable salad. Don’t overdo it as you don’t want your kale to turn to mush.
2PREPARE YOUR VEG & NUTS
Wash and trim your broccolini and chop finely.
If you are using regular broccoli, trim any woody stem ends or tough leaves from your broccoli with a knife and then chop roughly to make 2 cups.
Wash the carrots, peel then cut off the tops and bottoms. You can either coarsely grate or cut into a small-medium dice or even julienne.
Roughly chop the pecans.
3MAKE YOUR DRESSING
Add all your dressing ingredients in a glass jar, season with salt and pepper and shake until well combined. Check the consistency it should be like mayonnaise and if it is too thick add some more water.
If you prefer a smoother consistency then add all your dressing ingredients to a small food processor or blender, season and blitz until well smooth.
4ASSEMBLE YOUR KALE AND BROCCOLI SALAD
Add the carrots, broccoli and chopped pecans, spoon over the dressing and mix well to combine.
Arrange in salad bowl and keep chilled until you are ready to serve.
I love tahini with anything that has lamb or eggplant in it we have served this salad with some harissa lamb cutlets for a weekday dinner and some fried eggplant rounds for an easy lunch.
You could also pair it with any Middle Eastern style dishes or grilled meats such as pork or lamb or even oily fish works well with this salad.
Mum’s fried eggplant recipe
Slice your eggplant into rounds, dredge in rice flour or cornflour, then dip in a shallow bowl of iced water, let the water drain off, then fry in a large frypan with hot oil until golden (we use a mix of olive and canola oil or avocado oil). Voila, perfectly crisp and golden eggplant!
Make ahead Tips and meal prep
- Don’t waste the stems of your broccoli they are just as tasty as the florets if they are prepared correctly. Cut off the very end of the stem and discard, then peel the outer skins and cut into bite-sized pieces.
- This salad can be made the day before and kept covered in the fridge until you are ready to use.
- Creamy balsamic salad dressing stores well, covered, in the fridge, but bring it to room temp before using. After some time in the fridge, it may get a bit thick and need whisking and thinning with some water so it pours easily.
- An ideal salad to meal prep for weekday lunches. Make it up and portion into containers. For some added protein try adding grilled chicken, flaked salmon or falafel.
Looking for even more kale salad inspiration?
(Times are an estimate and will depend on your skill level)
- Mandoline / V-Slicer
- Box Grater
- ½ bunch of kale (6 stems approximately 260 grams)
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1 bunch broccolini or 2 cups chopped broccoli (approximately 110 grams)
- 2 medium carrots (approximately 170 grams)
- ⅓ cup pecans (chopped)
- ⅓ cup tahini
- ⅓ cup Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp liquid sweetner (honey, maple syrup, liquid stevia to taste)
- ¼ cup water to loosen
- Wash your kale and rip the leafy parts from the ribs, discard the ribs chop finely.
- Add chopped kale to a large mixing bowl, add some salt and 2-3 tablespoons olive oil.
- Massage the kale for 3-5 minutes until tender but don’t overdo it.
- Wash and trim your broccolini and chop finely.
- If you are using regular broccoli, trim any woody stem ends or tough leaves from your broccoli with a knife and then chop roughly to make 2 cups.
- Wash and trim your carrots. Either grate your carrots coarsely or use a mandoline v-slicer to cut into bite-sized julienne.
- Roughly chop your pecans.
- Place your dressing ingredients in a glass jar, season and shake until combined. If you prefer a smoother consistency add to a small food processor or blender and blitz.
- Add all your ingredients to the bowl with the kale, pour over the dressing and mix well to combine.
- Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
- Keep chilled until you are ready to serve.