Texas Summer Kale Salad
25 Min

Texas Summer Kale Salad

The virtues of kale are extensive. It is one of the most nutritionally dense plants and is packed with loads of antioxidants. One cup provides more than the daily recommended dose of vitamins A, C and K. Many important nutrients including calcium, potassium and magnesium, along with phytonutrients that deter macular degeneration, are abundant in kale. It is very low in calories with a tiny bit of fat — essential omega-3 fatty acids. In short, kale is king.


Though I seldom saw kale in India, it originated in the eastern Mediterranean and other parts of Asia and has been cultivated as food for over two millennia. Even today, when in season, the Greeks will use it in daily cooking for stews or salads. The popular Spanish-Greek dish Spanakoriza made with spinach, lemon, dill and rice, often includes kale. It was introduced to European countries in the 13th century, and during World War II, England encouraged kale cultivation for its victory gardens. However, it was not until the 19th century that Russian traders brought kale to Canada and eventually the United States. First used as decorative hedges in gardens, it did not gain popularity until the ’90s as a health food.


My favorite way to eat it is either chopped and dropped into dal, a lentil stew, at the end of cooking, or marinated for a couple of hours in a salad. Marination softens the hard, grassy bite of the leaves, and fragrant herbs such as basil add a delicate touch. Crumbled cheese on top makes a nice addition also.

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Cook Time

25 Minutes



Step 1
Tear the leaves of the kale into small bite-size pieces and either finely chop the stems to add to the salad or discard. In a large bowl, combine the kale with cucumber slices, basil leaves, peach slices and pecans.
Step 2
To crush the coriander seeds, place them on a counter and use a rolling pin over them gently once or twice. This releases flavors and essential oils.
Step 3
In a small frying pan over high heat, warm the olive oil and pop the coriander seeds, making sure the oil is not too hot as coriander burns easily. Immediately turn the heat off and add the minced serrano (if using), lemon or lime juice, and salt. Pour this over the kale and toss evenly while warm. Put the salad aside for 1 to 2 hours in the refrigerator to soften. Give it another toss before serving.

1 small bunch of kale

1/2 large or 3 small Persian cucumbers, sliced

2 to 3 sprigs of basil, leaves pulled off

1 ripe but firm large peach, pitted and sliced

1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted


1 teaspoon lightly crushed coriander seeds

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 small serrano pepper, minced (optional)

Juice of 2 lemons or 3 limes

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Notes & Variations

  • Stems have a lot of nutrients, too, so instead of tearing the kale leaves, finely chop the leaves along with the stems. Discard the most fibrous ends.
  • Peaches add a touch of sweetness to the salad, but you can also add a tablespoon of honey to the dressing and/or substitute the peach for a mango.
  • To toast pecans, place them on a baking pan in a preheated 300°F oven for 5 to 8 minutes.
25 Min

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