Seasonal Chef Recipe: Kale and Quinoa Salad


It’s impossible to walk into a restaurant, casual or otherwise, and not see kale on the menu. There seems to be a lot of talk about this leafy green; is it really as fabulous and people say? In a word: yes! Click this link: to read more about kale and see my quick and easy video showing how to use it.

Seasonal Chef Recipe: Kale and Quinoa Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Seasonal Chef Recipe: Kale and Quinoa Salad

It's getting easier to find this type of kale, known as Tuscan or lacinato. Better grocery store chains are carrying pretty regularly. When you see it, pick up a bunch and give it a try.


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • Kosher salt
  • I bunch of lacinto kale
  • Light olive oil
  • Vinegar of your choice (I like balsamic with this recipe)
  • Dijon mustard
  • Honey
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced (pressed)
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries
  • ½ cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped


  1. Bring a small pot of salted water to boil. Follow the package instructions for cooking your quinoa. (See cook’s note below.)
  2. While the quinoa is cooking remove any thick, tough ribs from the kale and slice thin. Place the kale in a large bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of vinegar and ½ teaspoon of salt. Massage the leaves and set aside.
  3. Combine ½ cup of oil, ¼ cup of vinegar, 1 teaspoon each of mustard and honey, garlic and a pinch a salt and pepper in a glass jar. Shake vigorously until well combined and set aside.
  4. Once your quinoa is done cooking remove it from the pot into a large mixing bowl and fluff with a fork. Let it cool for a few minutes.
  5. Add the kale to the quinoa along with half of your dressing and toss to coat. Add in the cherries and pecans and toss well. Taste for seasoning.
  6. Divide evenly between 4 plates and dress with remaining vinaigrette.


Some quinoas need to be rinsed before cooking. Read the package instructions carefully. Typically it takes 15-20 minutes to cook quinoa. For the last 5 minutes of cook time I like to remove it from the heat, with the cover on, and allow it to steam.


About Author

Seasonal Chef blogger Maria Reina comes to the world of food as a third career, spending a great portion of her adult life in the field of Human Resources. With her private company Bella Cucina Maria she is a personal chef, caterer and recreational cooking class teacher in Westchester. She's an avid food television watcher and cookbook collector, always looking for a new take on a traditional dish. In her free time she loves hanging out at local farmer's markets, chatting it up with the farmers and doing cooking demos with their seasonal ingredients. In addition to her blog, which is loaded with easy recipes, you can follow her on Facebook (Bella Cucina Maria), Twitter (Bellacucinam), Instagram (Bellacucinam) and Pinterest (Bellacucinam).

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