Mexican Kale Salad

Mexican Kale Salad

Dino kale is better than curly kale in salads because it is easier to chew. Kale doesn’t wilt as fast as lettuce so you can dress the salad in advance. This works especially well if you want to take this salad to work for lunch. I love how all the textures in this salad come together; the crunch of the croutons and pumpkin seeds contrast with the creamy roasted butternut squash and queso fresco.



For the dressing:

zest from two limes

¼ cup lime juice

2 tablespoons agave

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper


For the cilantro croutons:

½ day old baguette

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, additional if needed

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

salt & pepper


For the salad:

1 bunch Dinosaur (or Tuscan) kale, ribs removed and cut into a chiffonade (about 5 cups)

¼ cup crumbled queso fresco

1/3 cup roasted butternut squash

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

2 radishes, thinly sliced



For the dressing:

In a small mixing bowl whisk together the lime zest, lime juice, agave, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Set the dressing aside until ready to use.

For the croutons:

Heat the oven to 325°. Slice a baguette into ½-inch slices. Cut the slices into ½-inch cubes. Add to a large bowl and toss with olive oil and garlic. Make sure all of the pieces are lightly coated. Add more of the oil if needed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the cilantro and toss once more to coat. Spread the croutons in a single layer on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, until croutons are crisp and golden brown. Let cool.

For the salad:

Toss ¼ cup of the dressing with the kale. Massage the dressing into the kale then let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes; this will make the kale easier to chew. Add the queso fresco, butternut squash, pumpkin seeds, radish and 1 cup of the croutons. Toss to combine then serve.


Serves 2 as an entrée.  

Mexican kale salad side
Mexican kale salad with butternut squash and croutons


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