Marinated Kale Salad

Marinated Kale Salad


I know that raw kale may sound terrible, but trust me it can be really amazing. I’ve been teaching this salad a lot in my cooking classes and despite a lot of scepticism to begin with, everyone absolutely adores the end result. It’s one of my all time favourite recipes too, and I make it all the time – it’s just so easy, so delicious and it makes me feel so awesome. The trick to getting kale delicious is to make it wonderfully soft and tender, which we do by massaging the leaves with a delicious dressing of tahini, tamari and apple cider vinegar or lime. This breaks down the cell wall of the kale, allowing it to wilt, absorb all the incredible flavours and become insanely good. I then mix the marinated kale with sweet juicy pomegranates, creamy avocado cubes and a sprinkling of crunchy sunflower seeds to create the perfect light meal or a beautiful side dish – or you can add in things like roasted squash or sweet potato, toasted cashews or some quinoa to make it more of a meal on it’s own. The other awesome thing about this salad is that it keeps really well, unlike rocket salads which get soggy and unappetising really quickly. This salad actually does the total opposite and gets nicer the longer you leave it (within reason!), as it just becomes softer and more tender. So it’s a great addition to a rainbow bowl or a healthy eating on-the-go lunchbox. Plus kale is such an awesome superfood, so each bite will have you glowing from the inside out, while also making your tastebuds very happy!

Before I get onto the recipe I just quickly just have to say that Deliciously Ella is turning two this week, which is so exciting! It’s been the most awesome adventure developing the blog over the past two years and I can’t believe how quickly it’s grown and how many people are reading it – it’s had over nine million hits since it started, nearly six of which were in the last four months alone! There are so many more exciting things to come (including the android app, hopefully next week) and I just wanted to take this anniversary to say thank you for all so much your love and support for Deliciously Ella, it’s truly amazing and I’m so flattered that so many of you love the blog!

 Ingredients for one serving:

For the salad

– four big handfuls of kale

– 1/3 of a cup of pomegranates

– 1 ripe avocado

– a handful of pumpkin seeds

For the dressing

– 1 tablespoon of olive oil

– 1 teaspoon of of tahini

– 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or 1 lime

– 1 teaspoon of tamari

– 1 lime

Start by washing the kale, then tear small pieces off the stems, discarding the stems and placing the leaves into a bowl.

Drizzle all the dressing ingredients onto the kale. Then use your hands to firmly start massaging it all into the leaves, as you do this you’ll feel the leaves soften and wilt. Keep massaging them for a few minutes to make sure they’ll really soft, at this point stir in the pomegranates and avocado cubes.


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  • Chantal Ashley

    I made a curried kale salad the other day, it was incredible. I’m really into the raw kale salads right now too. I’m going to try out this recipe this week.

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  • Inspiration à Porter

    I love your Blog Ella. It’s so incredible how great eating can be :). I habe one question. Are you having pulses and carbs for dinner or not? I’m still eating meat and fish from time to time because I don’t feel like it hurts me but do you think it’s bad to lentils and stuff in the evenin?

  • ellawoodward

    I am so pleased you love the blog. Yes, I eat those sorts of things whenever really!

  • Kim

    Just tried this récipe as my first experience with kale (finally found it in local eco market this week); verdict – fabulous!!!! I love tamari anyway & it really works so well to soften the kale leaves. I added sweet potato to the mix which added another dimensión both of flavour & color! Will definitely be repeating!

  • ellawoodward

    I am so pleased you loved it! Kale is my favourite! x

  • Alice

    Ella, your recipes are delicious and I am SO happy to have come across your website on MBG. I really admire your creativity ! Congratulations on your upcoming book and most importantly THANKS for sharing online !
    I was wondering if you could recommend some cooking apparatus…a steamer, chopping knifes (the colorful ones you use look very practical) and silicone moulds (like in the ones in the Christmas special). Thanks in advance

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Alice, so happy to hear you are loving the blog! Hope you enjoy trying some of the recipes :). Cooking apparatus wise I don’t use specific stuff at all, and I’ve found most department stores/kitchen shops stock all the basics. Hope that helps! Have a great day :) Ella x

  • Louise Haines

    Hi Ella,

    What is the difference between light and dark tahini? I bought dark tahini which has quite a strong taste – is the light one different? Which brand do you use? Thanks Louise

  • ellawoodward

    It is just to do with whether or not they have been hulled. The light one is a little less strong tasting

  • María

    Hi Ella, I love this salad and have been doing it nearly every day for the past months. But I read today that eating raw kale might not be that healthy due to its thyroid content. Do you know anything about this? Thank you

  • ellawoodward

    I have read about this but I have not read anything to stop me from eating raw kale. However there is a lot of information out there and it is important to make an informed decision. Ella X

  • Alex

    Since I made this for the first time I’m having it at least 3 or 4 times per week! In case anyone (like me) hates to waste the stems, you can make a delicious kale stem and walnut pesto, so easy and so delicious! Just boil the stems with a couple of cloves of garlic until tender, then drain and whizz in the food processor with basil, walnuts, lemon and olive oil – goes beautifully on the superfood crackers :)

  • Helena Miller

    What hummus recipe did you use in this photo? Is it the one with basil in it?

    • ellawoodward

      Hi Helena, this is the roasted red pepper and paprika hummus, the recipe is on the blog and app! X

  • Amanda Shepherd

    I made this the other night and it was lush. I realised though that I was out of tahini so substituted it with homemade macadamia butter. It so worked! I then also carved out egg plants which I roasted, then served the salad in the egg plant. Lush! Thanks Ella!

  • Issie

    This is the BEST salad to take to work because nothing gets soggy and gross, it just gets more delicious!
    I like mine with sunflower seeds, chickpeas, radishes and avocado <3 xxx

  • ellawoodward

    I imagine that almond or cashew butter would work well for this recipe! Hope it’s delicious x

  • laura

    hiya ella do you have to use oil in the dressing to marinate the kale? im not great with the feel of oil in my mouth

    • ellawoodward

      Hi Laura, you could try this recipe without the oil as you will have liquid from the other ingredients so it should still turn out well! Hope you love it x

      • laura

        thanks ella it looks ssssssssooooooooooo nice ill give it a try :)

  • ellawoodward

    That’s awesome, so happy you’re loving them :) You could try using chard, or rocket or even spinach instead, however these leaves are slightly thinner so they might break more easily compared to kale. Hope they’re still delicious! X

  • ellawoodward

    That’s awesome to hear x

  • ellawoodward

    So happy to hear this, hope you keep on enjoying the recipes x

  • ellawoodward

    So happy to hear this, awesome news! Hope you continue to enjoy lots of the recipes :)

  • Anne K

    Hello, I live in France, too. I use “chou frisé”!

  • ellawoodward

    I sometimes make it up the night before and it is still delicious x

  • Tomifudge

    I’ve been reading you blog for the last 2 years but haven’t made a full recipe soo far, only reading to get tips.

    Absolutely love this way of preparing kale. I normally just blitz it in a smoothie or do a quick stir fry.
    But made this kale salad omitting the avocado and pomegranates and replacing them with shaved carrots. It was soo good I wish I had made more.

    Used the same dressing to make a similar salad tonight with chinese leaf cabbage instead of kale. Delicious :-)

    • ellawoodward

      Yum sounds delicious! So pleased you enjoyed it x

  • gabrielle

    How many days would this last in the fridge for? Xx

    • ellawoodward

      It should last about two days in an airtight container x

  • Kye

    You would have to eat a huge amount daily for it to interfere with thyroid function.

  • Rosy

    Yeah don’t worry! I have hypothyroidism and M.E. and I love kale. You’re much better off avoiding things that take more energy to digest such as alcohol, caffeine, potatoes, refined carbs and processed foods. A bit of kale is not going to slow you down, I promise!

  • ellawoodward

    Hi Helen,

    I am so happy that you love the recipes and that they are helping you to feel good.

    Have a great day,
    Ella x