Lemon Parmesan Kale Salad

September 25, 2011 by Ali

Kansas City has a zillion amazing restaurants. But one of my newest favorite is a healthy fast-food alternative restaurant called “Unforked“. It is brilliant.

The owners/creators are actually the force behind Sheridan’s, one of my favorite local custard chains. (And they happen to attend the church where I work — fun!) But instead of your typical super-processed, deep-fried, zillion-calorie fast food restaurants, this place overflows with creative, fresh, and healthy options. I can’t get enough of it — everything I have tried is amazing. (Side note — I¬†deeply hope this is what the majority of fast-food restaurants might look like in a decade!)

One of my new favorites there is their “Hale The Kale” salad. It is made simply from fresh kale, Parmesan, bread crumbs, and a lemony olive oil dressing. And it is utterly delicious! I had to admit that I had my doubts about so much fresh kale (I usually prefer adding my kale to pizzas, soups, or making kale chips). But when the other ingredients were added, it tasted wonderfully fresh, light and flavorful!

So while we’re still in the midst of kale season, I decided to try it at home. Decided to nix the breadcrumbs and add in some thyme, and loved it. Hope you do too!

Lemon Parmesan Kale Salad


  • 3 cups chopped fresh kale
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • pinch of salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup toasted bread crumbs (optional)


In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper. Add kale and Parmesan (and bread crumbs, if using), and toss until the kale is evenly coated. Serve immediately.

Ali’s Tip:

This would also be great with some chopped/sliced fresh fruit added in, such as peaches, plums, apples, or blackberries. It would also be delicious with some toasted pecans, almonds or walnuts added in.


Inspired by Unforked.

filed in Sides, Veggies

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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16 thoughts on “Lemon Parmesan Kale Salad

  1. I used a combination of EVVO & roasted garlic infused grapeseed oil that made this recipe divine! You must use the bread crumbs as they soak up the dressing & make each bite balanced. I usually add walnuts & have included dried cherries. Sweet/tart apples would work well too.

    - Queen of Biak

  2. I made a variation of this with finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese – delicious!

    - Wendy

  3. This is awesome! I was skeptical at first because I didn’t think I’d like raw kale, but I was pleasantly surprised. I added some toasted pepitas and dried cranberries. Thanks for sharing! I found this on pinterest. :)

    - Lindsay

  4. Thank you for the awesome recipie.. it was fantastic! I think it would be great as a side dish if you barely blanched it and threw it into an ice bath.. and then added dressing with some grape tomatoes and a touch of red onion.

    - rhellemans

  5. Hi Ali,
    I went to a cooking class recently and learned that when you massage the kale with the dressing, it makes it more tender! I tried it and loved the result. Just a tip to add. Thanks for the recipe!

    - Traci

  6. I love kale, but have never had it raw. I tried this today with a bunch of kale I’ve had sitting in the fridge. I added freshly chopped garlic and chilli instead of thyme, toasted Japanese bread crumbs and whole toasted almonds. This has just become my new favourite salad. Thanks so much for sharing!

    - mylochick

  7. This is my favorite salad currently!!!!! I need to make this immediately.

    - Amanda

  8. I can’t get enough of the Hale the Kale salad!
    My friend Kenny is the manager and he says its their best seller!
    Thanks for posting!

    - Monica

  9. Sounds delicious, Ali! I still haven’t tried Unforked. Must do so soon!

    - Cassie Laemmli

  10. LOVE kale! Cooked and in salads!

    - Natalie

  11. I’ve never been to this restaurant! This must change.

    And I must eat that kale salad, PRONTO.

    - Bev Weidner

  12. This sounds so simple and delicious… and such few ingredients! MUST TRY!

    - Blog is the New Black