Kale Salad with Raisins, Carrots & Red Cabbage

I have a love/hate relationship with kale, as I’m sure many others do. I know it’s good for me, but sometimes it’s just hard to get down. Sometimes, it’s just easier to get my kale in by cooking it. It’s so thick and dense; I feel my body having a hard time digesting it sometimes.

That said, I have had many raw kale salads, typically when dining in natural food markets (eg Whole Foods, New Leaf, etc.), that I’ve really enjoyed. After many years of knowing the magical nutrient powerhouse that is kale, I am happy to report: there are several ways that I really enjoy eating it; one of which is this salad.

There are two main factors in creating successful (raw) kale salad consumption for me:

1) Using the Dino Kale (aka Lacinto or Tuscan Kale) variety. It is the flatter, more frond-like variety. The leaves are thinner than the curly kale.

2) Massaging/rubbing the kale with olive oil and a little salt. This helps break it down a little bit.

A third (optional) factor is waiting until day two to eat it, which really is more enjoyable. The flavors have all saturated and blended nicely by the next day and the acids and salt have broken down the kale and softened it a little making for easier digestion. Another thing to consider is the convenience of this salad as a “make ahead” dish when planning an event (holiday, dinner party, etc.), since it is tastier once it has sat in the refrigerator overnight.

Prep time is about 15 min. Significantly shorter if you have things pre-cut and ready to go.

Makes 4 cups

  • 1 bunch Dino/Lacinto/Tuscan Kale, cut into approx. 1 inch pieces.
  • 1 medium Carrot, shredded
  • 1/3 c Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 c Red Cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 large clove Garlic, minced
  • 3 TB Raisins (I used organic Thompson variety)
  • 1.5 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 1/2 TB Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
  • 1/2 TB Lemon Juice, fresh squeezed (Lime juice is fine too)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine the ACV and lemon (or Lime juice) in a small prep bowl and place the raisins inside to rehydrate them a little. Let that soak while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  2. Place the prepared kale pieces into a mixing bowl, pour the EVOO over the kale and sprinkle with some salt. Massage/rub the kale thoroughly spreading the oil over each piece.
  3. Toss in the carrots, onions, cabbage and garlic.
  4. Pour in the raisin and acids (lemon juice and ACV) and mix in.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste, as desired.

Here are two serving ideas:

Alongside a wrap. This one has chicken, melted organic pepper jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumber and avocado in it. I will share the wrap/crepe/tortilla recipe in another post.

Here the salad and stirred with a can of tuna and half of an avocado with an extra squeeze of lemon added.

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