21/04/2024

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Warm Kale Salad for One

Warm Kale Salad for One

This 10 minute warm kale salad for one is a great way to use up hearty greens after they’ve started to go bad. Turn wilting greens into a flavorful warm salad with this simple recipe.

sauteed kale salad with cast iron skillet and bread in the background

[This warm kale salad recipe was originally posted in March 2018. It has been updated with a new ingredient photo, cooking instructions, tips, FAQ, related recipes, and ways to repurpose/use up ingredients]

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It’s really easy for food to go bad when you’re cooking for one, If you hate wasting produce just as much as I do, this warm kale salad can be made with wilting kale and other greens.

This recipe makes enough for a pretty big side salad. It makes good leftovers though, so that’s fine. It’s better to cook the wilting kale in this warm kale salad earlier so it doesn’t wilt even more.

Add an easy protein and grain to it to make it a full meal.

Ingredients

Scroll down to the warm kale salad recipe card for the amounts of each ingredient, but here’s a quick visual + description of what’s in this recipe.

salad ingredients in baking sheet, with labels
  • Butter: Oil works well too, but butter adds a nice flavor to the kale.
  • Onion: Use whatever kind of onion you have. Green onion would be a good addition, but you may enjoy it more uncooked, added as a garnish.
  • Garlic
  • Kale: hearty greens like kale, chard, collared greens, cabbage, etc are best for this recipe as they cook well.
  • Lemon juice: Lemon/lime juice adds a nice tangy flavor to this salad, it + the butter/oil create a dressing. You could use apple cider vinegar too.
  • Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Scroll down to the warm kale salad recipe card for more detailed instructions. Here’s a quick overview + photos to see how to make this recipe in general.

greens on plate close up

To make your warm kale salad, start by heating a cast iron skillet over medium heat. While skillet is heating, chop up kale, and thinly slice onion.

sliced red onions and butter cooking in a cast iron skillet

Melt butter in pan. Then add sliced onion. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Sautee kale for 3-4 minutes, or until onion is slightly translucent.

sauteed kale salad in cast iron skillet with spatula

After onion is slightly translucent and softened, add minced garlic, lemon juice, and chopped kale. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring kale occasionally. Remove from heat once kale is softened, and a bright green color.

Top your warm kale salad with freshly grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and enjoy.

Storage/Reheating Tips

Store leftover warm kale salad in an air tight container in the fridge for about a week. You can reheat it, covered in the microwave or on a skillet. This salad wouldn’t freeze well.

Substitutions/Tips

  • It may seem like a lot of kale, but 4 cups raw kale = ~2.5 cups cooked kale. Plus, it’s great as leftovers, so make extra!
  • Use whatever kind of hearty greens you have on hand like kale, collared greens, cabbages, and even spinach in this warm kale salad.
  • Other great add-ins: Chopped nuts, seeds, red pepper flakes, drizzle of balsamic dressing, other vegetables. You can add in whatever additional vegetables or toppings to this warm kale salad that you’d like.

FAQ

Can you eat kale raw in a salad?

Definitely, it’s great raw and cooked. I recommend massaging kale when eating it raw, or cooked. Just massage some salt into kale if you’re eating it raw.

Read about how to massage kale in the ‘how do you make kale less bitter’ section.

How do you get the bitterness out of kale salad?

Like I said above, heating kale, massaging it with salt, or adding an acidic dressing all help cut down on the bitterness of kale, just like in this warm kale salad.

Here’s how you massage kale: Remove kale ribs with your hand by holding the kale stalk at the bottom with both hands, then push one hand up toward the top of the leaf, pushing the leaves off the stalk.

After you’ve removed the leaves, grab kale and rub together with your two hands for a minute +. Stop when kale is softened. This will soften the leaves and make them easier to eat.

You can sprinkle kale with a pinch of salt to soften it more quickly. I recommend massaging kale whenever you plan to eat it raw.

Can you heat kale?

Heating kale is a great way to make it less bitter. Adding an acidic dressing, or massaging it with salt also helps make it less bitter.

Sauteed kale is really delicious like in this warm kale salad, you can also roast it for crunchy kale chips.

warm kale salad in a bowl with kale, cheese and onions on table

Other good vegetable recipes

Repurpose kale salad

  • Add some ham, bacon or other meat and enjoy your warm kale salad in a tortilla or pita.
  • Serve pork chops with your warm kale salad.

What can I make with leftover ingredients?

When you’re cooking for one, you often have leftover produce, cans of whatever ingredient, etc. Here are a couple ideas on how to use up the leftover ingredients. It’ll help you save money by wasting fewer ingredients.

Did you make this warm kale salad? Leave me a comment & rating to share how it turned out!

close up of warm kale salad in a white bowl with a fork in it

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Warm Kale Salad for One

This 10 minute warm kale salad for one is a great way to use up hearty greens after they’ve started to go bad. Turn wilting greens into a flavorful warm salad with this simple recipe.

Prep Time 4 minutes
Cook Time 9 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Author Rebecca Clyde MS, RDN

Equipment

  • knife

  • cutting board

  • Medium Skillet

  • rubber spatula

  • Microplaner

  • Measuring Spoons

  • Measuring Cups

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter sub olive oil for vegan
  • ½ onion sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic slivered
  • 4 cups chopped kale or other hearty greens well dried
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice or lime juice or apple cider vinegar
  • grated parmesan cheese omit for vegan
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat. While skillet is heating, chop up kale, and thinly slice ½ red onion.

  • Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in pan. Then add ½ whole onion (sliced). Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Sautee for 3-4 minutes, or until onion is slightly translucent.

  • After onion is slightly translucent and softened, add 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and about 4 cups of chopped kale. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring kale occasionally. Remove from heat once kale is softened, and a bright green color.

  • Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and enjoy.

  • Serve with a pan fried pork chop, tofu, scrambled eggs, or salami + your favorite grain for a full meal.

Notes

  • It may seem like a lot of kale, but 4 cups raw kale = ~2.5 cups cooked kale. Plus, it’s great as leftovers, so make extra!
  • Use whatever kind of hearty greens you have on hand like kale, collared greens, cabbages, and even spinach.