I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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September 21, 2011

Grilled kale salad with yogurt dressing and hazelnuts

OMG. I’m so into this salad right now. I’ve made it twice since my mom sent it to me in the mail last week. It’s a major keeper. I mean obviously. It’s an LA Times adaptation of a Gjelina recipe. These are to be kept close to the breast, people. We cannot misplace Gjelina recipes.

And do you know what’s better? It’s sooooo easy. I’ve been roasting the kale in a super hot oven, instead of grilling it. Much less fussy, if you ask me. And I’ve made a few teeny additions that I think kind of help it along.

Grilled kale salad with yogurt dressing and hazelnuts
Adapted from the LA Times & Gjelina

1 cup Greek yogurt
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
10 mint leaves, chopped
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3 to 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup raw hazelnuts (skin on)
2 bunches Russian or curly kale, stems removed
1 handful of halved cherry tomatoes

Preheat oven to 500°.

To prep the kale. First soak both bunches in a sink-ful of water for 10-15 minutes so the bugs and dirt fall to the bottom. Then take each stalk out one at a time, and holding the bottom of the inner rib, pull your other hand up the stalk to quickly strip the leaves from the rib. So much easier than slicing the leaves away from the rib one at a time! I will never go back.

For the dressing. Add the yogurt, shallot, garlic, mint, 1/4 cup of olive oil, and red wine vinegar to a bowl and whisk together. Then add a pinch of sea salt and pepper and taste. Add more as you like. This makes almost double the amount of dressing you need for one recipe. But you won’t be sorry because it’s delicious on anything.

For the hazelnuts. Toast the whole nuts in the oven or toaster oven until they are nice and golden and the skins are cracking. Dump them onto one half of a damp kitchen towel and fold the other half over the top so the nuts are covered. Roll the nuts between the towel with your hands until the skins come off. Yay! ANOTHER great kitchen tip. I love this one almost as much as the kale. Chop hazelnuts loosely.

For the kale. Lay the kale onto a large cookie sheet. Drizzle with remaining olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and toss as best you can with your hands. Put the kale into your super hot oven, preferably under the broiler (once it’s had a chance to wilt a bit). The kale will cook super fast and it’s totally fine if a few leaves get burned. Turn the leaves as they cook so that all pieces are nicely wilted.

Arrange the kale on a platter. Sprinkle nuts and tomatoes over the top. Drizzle dressing generously. Top with lemon zest, lemon juice, sea salt and a few grinds of pepper.


  1. simplyblythe said on September 21, 2011

    thank you, thank you…so in need of some new kitchen inspiration. when i get too busy the fun in the kitchen dwindles…

  2. Kelsey said on September 21, 2011

    Looks amazing! I have been eating lots of homemade kale chips so I think I’m halfway there. yum!

  3. naurnie said on September 21, 2011

    OH MY GOD. I’m making this TONIGHT.

  4. Melanie said on September 21, 2011

    we’ll try the grilled way at my house—when I’m eating dairy again….maybe I’ll STRAIN goat milk yogurt. that’s what i’ll do…..X

  5. Kim said on September 21, 2011

    Mmm. This sounds/looks pretty delicious. I’m always trying to find recipes for kale (other than those yummy kale chips!)

  6. Christina said on September 21, 2011

    YUM! I’m always looking for ways to jazz up kale. I’ll try this recipe out next week.

  7. blake said on September 22, 2011

    holy smokes, this looks so, so good. I’m officially starving. Any reason this wouldn’t work with dino/tuscan kale? my mister kale plant just won’t quit :)

  8. alyson said on September 22, 2011

    I made this last night – amaaaazing! I used coconut milk yogurt instead because I’ve been slowly eliminating dairy from my diet. it was SO good.

  9. johanna said on September 22, 2011

    So this is how we eat at my house: Each week, I pour through my google reader and share all recipes that look delicious. My husband reads over my shared items and emails me the ones he wants to eat. Anyway, this dish made the list. :) I’ve had the pleasure to cook a few of your recipes, and I’m looking forward to this one. Kale = favorite.

  10. Lauren said on September 22, 2011

    Kristina- This looks delicious, but how do you get the kale to wilt vs. crisp up into kale chips when you put it in the oven? Thanks!

  11. Charlotte Ferreux said on September 22, 2011

    I love your recipe and posted it on my community blog. I hope you can come check it out and feel free to post your recipes for my fans to see.


  12. gluten free gift said on September 25, 2011

    Would NEVER had thought to broil kale… thanks for this recipe – I’ll give this a try!! Claudine

  13. Kristina said on September 26, 2011

    I srsly need to try making kale chips! It seems like everyone is talking about them as of late.

    @alyson – ooh good substitution! Is it sweet?

    @Johanna – I’m so glad! I love that you guys plan your menus that way. Great idea.

    @ Lauren – since I’ve never made kale chips, I’m not totally sure how that’s supposed to go. But in this case, I think because of the sheer volume of kale (heaped on top of itself) it doesn’t have a chance to crisp, and instead just wilts.

  14. johanna said on October 3, 2011

    We tried it on Friday and it was delicious! I love cooking the kale that way. I kept dipping the roasted kale in the dressing before I could even get the salad assembled.

  15. fresh365 said on October 17, 2011

    Have I told you I love ALL your recipes?! Made this the other day & was delish—can’t wait for more kale to make again!

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