Kale, white beans, red onion and chopped fresh dill tossed with a tangy red wine vinaigrette. You’ll love this fresh, nourishing and filling kale and white bean salad. It’s the perfect addition to any summer cookout!
Kale is a nutrient powerhouse, and rightfully so. It is rich in vitamins C and K, and also contains decent amount of manganese, Vitamin A, folate and calcium. The addition of white beans in this salad provide an excellent source of plant-based protein and fiber, promoting satiety and providing long-lasting energy. They also contribute a creamy texture and mild flavor that complements the kale perfectly. The red onion brings a subtle sharpness and crunch to the salad, while fresh dill offers a fragrant grassiness. Toasted pumpkin seeds provide a satisfying crunch and nutty flavor, enhancing both the taste and texture of the dish. To tie all the ingredients together, a simple vinaigrette of red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, honey, Dijon, salt, and pepper is used.
You’re going to love this nutrient rich salad – and it only gets better with time! Leftovers the next day are even more delicious because the vinaigrette has soaked into the white beans and the onions have mellowed.
This kale and white bean salad can be enjoyed as a light lunch served with whole grain rolls, as a side dish to accompany your main dish (great with this grilled black sea bass or these teriyaki salmon kabobs), or as a main – just topped it with your favorite seafood (think grilled salmon, shrimp, seared scallops and more!).
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED:
- dinosaur kale (This type of kale has a bumpy, almost reptilian texture, hence why it’s called dinosaur kale. It’s also called Tuscan or lacinato kale.) – you can also use regular curly kale, if preferred
- extra virgin olive oil – use a good olive oil here because you’ll taste it
- great northern white beans
- red onion
- red wine vinegar
- Dijon mustard
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- and (optional) toasted pumpkin seeds (we LOVE these by SuperSeedz)
INSTRUCTIONS FOR THIS KALE WHITE BEAN SALAD:
The detailed instructions can be found in the recipe card below, but here’s a quick snapshot.
- To begin, prepare the kale by removing the tough stems and slicing the kale into thin strips. The smaller pieces of kale ensures a more enjoyable eating experience.
- Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Using your hands, massage the kale for 4-5 minutes. This will help soften the kale and begin to break down the fibers so the kale is more tender to eat.
- Add white beans, red onion and dill.
- Make vinaigrette by combining olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. Whisk well.
- Pour vinaigrette over salad and toss gently.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with toasted and salted pumpkin seeds.
Why do you need to massage the kale?
Massaging the kale begins to break down the plant fibers, resulting in a more tender bite. Kale can be pretty tough and fibrous – especially dinosaur and curly kale – so if you are eating it raw, massaging it for a few minutes tenderizes the veggie and results in a much more pleasant eating experience. Plus, you are massaging the oil and salt into the kale, making it much more tasty than if it wasn’t massaged.
How do you massage kale?
It’s easy! Just drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Then, with clean hands, stick your hands in the big bowl and kale and begin kneading/squeezing it together. It really will feel like you are massaging the kale. You notice the kale begins to darken and soften as time passes.
Can you use other types of beans than great northern white beans?
Sure! I like the great northern white beans in here because they have a creamy and soft texture, but feel free to use what you have – black beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans, chickpeas – all would be good.
Does this salad make good leftovers?
Yes! Unlike many lettuce salads, kale salads are typically still very delicious the next day, because kale doesn’t wilt like tender lettuces do. This kale salad is delicious the next day, just let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes prior to serving so that any olive oil that hardened under refrigeration can become liquid again.
Kale White Bean Salad
- 6 cups loosely packed cups slivered dinosaur kale thick stems removed (about 2 bunches)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 15-ounce cans no salt added great northern white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 red onion finely diced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
For the dressing
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For serving (optional)
- 1/4 cup toasted salted pumpkin seeds
- Place kale in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Massage kale for about 5 minutes. Add white beans, red onion and dill.
- For the dressing, combine olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk well to combine. Pour dressing over salad. Toss well to combine. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve. Or chill until ready to serve.
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