Lemon Kale Salad

I know that this is a summer-y kale salad.  And we have been having some of the most wonderful summer (more fall-like) weather lately.  And ALL I can think about right now is fall.  Particularly, football in the fall.

And all of that is thanks to the beauty that is Friday Night Lights.  I am not so sure what took me so long to discover this show after so many people totally raved about it.  But I have finally jumped on the bandwagon in a full-force-binge-watch-Tim-Riggins-is-my-new-crush (move over Jimmy Fallon) kind of way.

I mean, seriously, have you seen that guy smile?

And I wish I was just a little bit kidding!  I had a minor surgery last week (everything is fine!) but my recovery consisted of me sitting, the couch, my pillow and the boys of Dillon, Texas.  And it made me so ready for football season.

Lemon Kale Salad

But for now, I will patiently wait with my lemon kale salad, and the amazing summer weather, and our 9th grade trail hike which we leave for on Saturday (yikes!!)

This salad is a nod to a salad at a restaurant I frequented in Kansas City called Unforked.  The salad is called “Hale the Kale” and has a perfect lemon dressing, parmesan cheese and crunchy, toasty breadcrumbs.  Super simple but oh so flavorful.  And I found myself with an abundance of kale recently so I decided to recreate it.  I used a simple dressing with shallots, freshly squeezed lemon and loads of garlic.  The salad keeps really well.  I will make it over the weekend and then eat it for lunch all week.  It’s a perfect side dish or main dish, especially if you add a little grilled chicken or steak!

Lemon Kale Salad

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Lemon Kale Salad

Yield: 4 servings (as a main dish)

A fresh, summery kale salad with parmesan cheese, toasted breadcrumbs and a simple lemon vinaigrette.


1 Tbs. butter
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/3 cup olive oil
1 – 2 lemons, juiced (about 1/2 cup of lemon juice)
1 shallot, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
6 cups fresh kale (8-9 ribs), torn into small pieces
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese + more for garnish


Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Add the panko and heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the panko is golden brown.

In a small jar or bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, shallot, and garlic together. I like to use a jar with a lid so that I can shake it together really well. Add salt and pepper to taste and then stir or shake once more.

In a large bowl, toss the kale with the dressing. Add the Parmesan cheese and toasted breadcrumbs.

This salad can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated – wait until just before serving to add the breadcrumbs.

Lemon Kale Salad