Pesto Tuscan Kale Salad Recipe
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Pesto Tuscan Kale Salad Recipe: A Refreshing Twist for Healthy Eaters

How to Make the Pesto Tuscan Kale Salad Recipe

We will be showcasing a delicious and nutritious recipe called the Pesto Tuscan Kale Salad. This recipe is perfect for those who want to incorporate more greens into their diet without sacrificing taste. The combination of Tuscan kale and homemade pesto creates a burst of flavors that will leave you craving more. Whether you are a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is easy to follow and will surely impress your family and friends.

Pesto Tuscan Kale Salad:

The Pesto Tuscan Kale Salad is a vibrant and refreshing salad that combines the goodness of Tuscan kale with a flavorful homemade pesto dressing. Tuscan kale, also known as Lacinato kale or dinosaur kale, is a dark leafy green vegetable that is rich in vitamins A, C, and K. It has a slightly earthy and tender texture, making it the perfect base for this salad. The homemade pesto dressing is made with fresh basil, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil, creating a delicious and aromatic dressing that complements the kale perfectly. This salad can be enjoyed as a side dish or as a main course by adding proteins like grilled chicken or shrimp.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Spice Level: Mild

Dessert Method: Fresh

Cuisine Type: Italian

Diet: Vegetarian, Vegan (if cheese is omitted)


To make the Pesto Tuscan Kale Salad, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 4 cups Tuscan kale, washed and chopped
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (omit for vegan option)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Add the following items to your grocery list:

  • Tuscan kale
  • Fresh basil
  • Pine nuts
  • Garlic
  • Parmesan cheese (if not omitting for vegan option)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon

Step-by-Step Instructions and Tips

  1. First, prepare the kale by removing the tough stems and chopping the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Place the chopped kale in a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a food processor, combine the fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic cloves, and grated Parmesan cheese (if using). Process until the ingredients are well combined and form a thick paste.
  3. Slowly add the olive oil to the food processor while it is running. Process until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  4. Add the freshly squeezed lemon juice to the pesto dressing and season with salt and pepper to taste. Give it a quick stir to combine.
  5. Pour the pesto dressing over the chopped kale in the mixing bowl. Using clean hands, massage the dressing into the kale leaves for a few minutes. This will help to soften the kale and evenly distribute the flavors.
  6. Let the kale salad sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. This step is optional but recommended for best results.
  7. Serve the Pesto Tuscan Kale Salad as a side dish or as a main course. You can add additional toppings like cherry tomatoes, sliced avocado, or crumbled feta cheese for extra flavor and texture.

Expert Tips

  • For a vegan version of this recipe, simply omit the Parmesan cheese or replace it with a vegan alternative.
  • If you prefer a smoother pesto dressing, you can blend the ingredients in a high-speed blender instead of a food processor.
  • Make sure to thoroughly wash and dry the kale leaves before chopping them to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Massaging the dressing into the kale leaves helps to soften them and reduces the bitterness of the raw kale.
  • The dressing can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


  • This recipe is versatile and can be customized to suit your taste preferences. Feel free to add or substitute other ingredients like cherry tomatoes, avocado, or roasted vegetables.
  • Leftover kale salad can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Keep in mind that the kale may become slightly wilted but will still be flavorful.

Common Questions

Can I use regular kale instead of Tuscan kale?

While regular kale can be used as a substitute, it has a slightly different flavor and texture compared to Tuscan kale. Tuscan kale is more tender and has a milder taste, making it the preferred choice for this recipe.

Can I use store-bought pesto instead of making my own?

Store-bought pesto can be used as a shortcut, but making your own homemade pesto will give the salad a fresher and more vibrant flavor. Plus, making pesto from scratch allows you to control the quality and quantity of the ingredients used.

Nutritional Facts

Here is the nutritional information for one serving of the Pesto Tuscan Kale Salad:

  • Calories: 250
  • Total Fat: 22g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 3mg
  • Sodium: 200mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 9g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 1g
  • Protein: 5g

Health Benefits

The Pesto Tuscan Kale Salad is not only delicious but also packed with health benefits:

  • Kale is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as minerals like iron, calcium, and potassium.
  • Kale contains antioxidants that help protect against chronic diseases and inflammation.
  • Basil is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Pine nuts are high in healthy fats, protein, and vitamin E.
  • Garlic has immune-boosting and heart health-promoting properties.

The Pesto Tuscan Kale Salad is a tasty and nutritious recipe that can be enjoyed by everyone. With its simple ingredients and flavorful dressing, it is the perfect dish to incorporate into your weekly meal plan. Whether you are a vegan, vegetarian, or simply looking to add more greens to your diet, this salad is a must-try. So grab your ingredients, follow the step-by-step instructions, and get ready to indulge in this flavorful and healthy salad. Bon appétit!

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