Fresh Kale Salad with Pistachios

Raw Kale Salad with Pistachios |

Ahh, the first week of January – when recipe searches change from decadent goodies to a bit more healthy fare. I was going to call this recipe a “cleanse” or “detox” salad but unfortunately those terms nowadays are often paired with unhealthy and even dangerous dieting practices like starving yourself for days. I’d rather eat good, wholesome food.

I never though raw kale was something that was palatable but after listening to cookbook author & NYT columnist Melissa Clark describe how to make a similar salad on The Splendid Table, I was intrigued. It is amazing how a little bit of oil and acid breaks down tough greens within minutes and makes them more tender.

You can switch up this salad with different infused oils (think rosemary or ginger) and different nuts. It tastes even better the next day – I like to make a big batch to hang out in my fridge for those days I need to balance my not-so-healthy choices.

Fresh Kale Salad with Pistachios

Makes 6 - 8 servings


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 8 cups raw kale, ribs removed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup pistachios, shelled


  1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, mix olive oil and paprika . Heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, add kale. Pour oil over over kale. Toss in lemon juice and pistachios; mix well. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Raw Kale Salad with Pistachios |

Do you have a favorite kale recipe? (But please, no more kale chip recipes :))

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  1. Delicious! I like raw kale salads too, and kale/banana/cinnamon smoothies. I do a sautee kale w/ garlic, sesame oil, a title tamari, and apricot preserves-very yummy too! Where do you buy smoked paprika??

    • Oooh, that sauteed kale sounds DIVINE! I have the basic McCormick smoked paprika from my grocery store but would love to buy some authentic Spanish pimenton. One of my very favorite go-to spices for flavor without too much spicy hot :)

  2. so simple, light and fresh… perfect

  3. Nice-I am making this today-I have every ingredient! Thanks for the suggestion…Happy New Year!

  4. I made a recipe for Blueberry Kale salad a few months ago and they recommended “massaging” the olive oil and salt into the kale. It makes is tender and a beautiful vibrant/shiny green! I too was amazed that kale was palatable raw.

  5. kale salad is my weekly addiciton. this looks delish – espeically love the addition of pistachios!

  6. Where have you been all my life, Kale? I’ve had it cooked before, with great results. Raw was a new adventure, but your tips helped! It was phenomenal.
    Thanks! (and beautiful picture)

  7. This looks excellent. I love kale, and love smoky paprika… why haven’t I combined them yet?
    My favorite kale recipe is creamy kale with baked eggs:
    such a great combo!

  8. Marilyn Crownover says:

    While I appreciate your backstory on this delicious recipe ( have made it 3x), you have a “misstep” in your opener. You have incorrectly used “more healthier” fare. HEALTHIER is already in the comparative form of the adjective, adding “more” is redundant; it’s akin to using another grossly made common error– the hideous “double negative”.

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