Friday, January 3, 2014

Kale, broccoli and cabbage salad with sweet poppy seed dressing

I love kale but have been a bit apprehensive about using it as the main ingredient in a salad. I sometimes add a leaf or two but I was nervous a larger amount of raw kale in salad would be bitter, as some had experienced. Well my worries, about that at least, are over!

I was on visit to my brother and sister in law’s a month or two ago and we had a wonderful salad there. She told me it was from Costco but since we don’t have a Costco store here I took a quick look at the salad ingredients and tried to remember them. I used of few of the same main ingredients here but did not have or could not remember all of them. So this is not quite the same but it is even better tasting to me.

I made a poppy seed dressing to go on it but you could use store bought dressing if you prefer. However, this dressing is incredibly good and I now make it often for all kinds of salads. It is so tasty people who don’t like salad will eat their greens up without complaint! I know it has a lot of honey/sugar in it but it really does help the kale and broccoli taste great. The olive oil is actually good for you! The key to using a dressing like this is not adding too much to your salad. Mix the dressing into the salad before serving and use just a small amount! It is a condiment not the star!

 I used a delicious  apple balsamic vinegar which was purchased on our trip to California at a We Olive store. What a great place to get authentic California olive oil and tasty vinegars. You can order this online from their website or find an olive oil store near you. But you can substitute a combination or cider and balsamic vinegars.

One more tip for a great salad- use the freshest and best quality kale, broccoli and cabbage you can find. Organic is great.  Older stuff that you have left in the fridge for several days after purchase are better cooked, if you are seeking a mild flavor!

Kale, broccoli and cabbage salad with sweet poppy seed dressing 

1 ½  cup  Kale, cut from  stem and cut into small bits-choose  Lacinato/Tuscan or curly kale
1 cup cabbage, finely shredded and chopped
1 cup broccoli stems, trimmed, peeled and cut into small julienne strips, use fresh stems.
1 cup spring mix, including chicory, chopped to same size as other greens. (You may also use a mix of romaine and chicory or any other lettuce, greens you want to try)
Optional- add one chopped or thinly sliced apple
Toppings:    Roasted pumpkin seeds, Slivered almonds, Dried Cranberries, and Golden raisins. Feel free to try other seeds, fruits and nut combinations. Use however much you want; I use about a 1/3 cup of each.
Light coating of Poppy seed dressing or other sweet dressing, recipe below

Prep everything and make poppy seed dressing. 10 minutes before serving, mix in a little poppy seed dressing  into large bowl of the salad ingredients.  Toss well. Add a bit more if needed but don’t overdo. This dressing makes more than you need for this salad and keeps well in the refrigerator.
Make topping then either sprinkle onto the top of the salad in a large bowl to serve or make up individual plates and garnish with topping. You may place topping ingredients in small bowls for people to add at table.
If you use a heartier lettuce like romaine you can save left overs for the next day lunch! The kale, cabbage and broccoli stems hold up well.

Poppy seed dressing
3-4 TBSP Apple balsamic vinegar,( if you cannot find this use 1 ½  TBSP balsamic and 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar. We Olive has an excellent Apple balsamic!)
1 TBSP white wine vinegar
3 TBSP  sugar or honey, more or less to taste
½ - 1 tsp. salt
 5 TBSP olive oil
2 tsp. poppy seeds
1/3 cup mayonnaise, light with olive oil or other favorite mayonnaise

In a blender, mix vinegars, honey/sugar, and salt. Pour in olive oil slowly while blender is on low. Once emulsified together, add poppy seeds and mayonnaise. Taste and adjust to preference. This should have an intense flavor with a generous  sweetness to compliment the slightly bitter greens. This can be made several days ahead, Use leftovers in other salads such as plain spring mix with dried fruit and pecans or a coleslaw.






  1. Beautiful, healthy and delicious looking salad. :) Wishing you the very best in 2014... Happy New Year!

  2. I really enjoyed the dressing! I found it because I was trying to find a copycat recipe for the costco kale salad