Roasted Kale Salad with Quinoa
It’s vegan and vegetarian-friendly, as well as dairy-free and gluten-free! Is there anything Roasted Kale Salad with Quinoa can’t do? It is the perfect addition to your holiday or average weekday dinner.
Plus, it features dinosaur, aka lacinato, kale.
What’s in a name? Well, if you are lacinato kale you go by many many other names. It is also labeled black kale, cavolo nero, Italian kale, and the cartoon-sounding dinosaur kale.
Dinosaur? Yes, because of the pebbly bumpy texture of the leaves. Awww.
As a nation, we are enamored with kale and we’ve talked about that before. Curly kale, baby kale, Russian red kale, and lacinato kale are different varieties of the green veggie. While curly kale is the most common in grocery stores, many markets now carry lacinato in their general produce section and plastic clamshells of baby kale in the prepackaged salad section. Russian red kale is something I’ve only seen at farmers' markets.
Lacinato kale leaves are long and feather-shaped. While the front of the leaf is pebbly in texture, the outer edges curl towards the back. Like other kale varieties, the center stalk can be tough and fibrous.
The leaves are delicious raw or sauteed on their own. They can also be thrown into simmering soups and stews. This recipe roasts them in the oven until tender.
Roasted Veggies in the Oven
Roasting vegetables is nothing new. I mean, most root vegetables like beets, onions, potatoes, and sweet potatoes are best after being baked in the oven. They transform from dense and hard to fork-tender and creamy.
But, roasting cruciferous veggies is new to me.
Cruciferous vegetables include bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, and of course, kale. Growing up, I don’t remember seeing these veggies baked or roasted. They were usually boiled, sauteed, or steamed (no one can ever forget the smell of boiled Brussels sprouts).
Roasting veggies like this concentrates their flavor. For our efforts, we get a brown-edged crisp exterior and a tender interior. So delicious!
This salad roasts two cruciferous veggies, cabbage and kale, and combines them with protein-packed quinoa to make a delicious main entree or side dish.
- Can’t find lacinato kale? Sub in collard greens instead. I don’t recommend using curly-leaf kale (the most common kind in grocery stores) as it is tougher and more bitter than lacinato kale.
- Don’t want to remove the kale stems? You don’t have to since the oven heat will soften them.
- The original recipe calls for baking the cooked quinoa to make it crispy. I prefer my quinoa non-crispy, but you might like it. To try it, toss the quinoa with 2 tablespoon of oil and spread it out on a baking sheet. Bake at 375F/190C for 20 minutes or until crispy.
Many thanks to Justine Snacks for the baked kale salad with crispy quinoa.
- 1 head green cabbage
- 12 to 15 stalks lacinato (aka Tuscan) kale
- 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided use
- ¾ cup uncooked quinoa
- ½ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 5 or 6 fresh sage leaves
- Preheat oven to 450F/232C. Move the oven rack to the middle position of the oven. Lightly grease two rimmed baking sheets with olive oil or non-stick spray oil.
- Slice the cabbage in half and remove the core. Thinly slice the cabbage and spread it out onto one of the prepared baking sheets. Drizzle with 2 tablespoon of oil and toss cabbage together with the oil. Spread it out into an even layer on the baking sheet. Roast the cabbage for 20-ish minutes or until it is crisp-tender and brown in some spots.
- While the cabbage is in the oven, separate the kale stems and leaves, discarding the stems. Thinly slice the leaves and pile them onto the other baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and toss with your hands to coat the kale. Spread the leaves out into an even layer on the baking sheet. Roast the kale for 7-ish minutes or until leaves are wilted and brown in some spots.
- Cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Fluff and let cool.
- Place the onion slices in a bowl. Heat the honey, vinegar, and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Throw in the rosemary and sage and let simmer on medium heat for 3-ish minutes, then pour the mixture over the red onion. Discard the rosemary and sage.
- Combine the kale, cabbage, and red onions (with the liquid) in a large bowl, then pile onto a serving platter. Top with the quinoa. Alternatively, you can toss everything together and serve.
Keywords: roasted kale salad with quinoa