Grilled kale is lovely – it’s smoky, becomes slightly tender, with a few crispy bits here and there. The dressing is delightfully bright from the lemon and very garlicky. To add protein, a super easy white bean dip spread over grilled bread makes the meal.
Getting all the ingredients ready for the grill is key – as it is any time you’re heading out to the grill. It just makes it easy.
I found this recipe on the Kitchn blog, but after I looked it over, I decided it looked too salty and I wanted to make the dressing my own (I didn’t like the sound of the ratio of acid to oil). And I wanted to add the bean crostini as part of the meal (and let’s be honest: I wanted to use rosemary from my garden).
Grilling kale? “Why? I’m not convinced? Seems like it would just burn.” Yes, I agreed with you before I did it. I was skeptical. But you’re not putting kale on a grill for 20 minutes, you’re putting on for a minute or two to soften a little, get some crispy spots, and get a nice grill flavor. Kale is a hearty green – it’s tough enough for the grill. Tongs and turning a few times also help! You want to leave the leaves whole (stems removed) for the grill so you don’t lost any to the coals (or flames) below.
What makes it even nicer is the bean dip and grilled bread, and you use a couple slices in the kale as croutons.
This summer salad has been lovely this season. I’m a little excited at the thought of tweaking it further to make a fall grilled kale salad (coming soon?!). But that’s also probably because I’m dreaming of October as I sit and swear in my 84 degree apartment here in Boston.
grilled garlicky kale salad +
rosemary white bean crostini
- 2 bunches tuscan or lacinato kale, washed, big stems removed
- 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon shaved parmesan (optional)
- 1/4 cup raw almonds (whole or sliced is fine)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt + pepper, to taste
Rosemary White Bean Dip:
- 1, 15oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 sprigs rosemary, de-stemmed and minced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- juice of a lemon
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- pinch red pepper flakes
- salt + pepper, to taste
- 6-8 slices of your favorite crusty bread (sour dough, wheat, etc.)
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled (to rub on the bread)
- Heat the grill to a medium heat. Remove the big stems from the kale and put the kale in a large bowl or gallon-size zip top bag. Drizzle just enough of the vegetable oil to coat them lightly and set aside to marinate while you finish the rest of the prep. Put the almonds in a grill safe pan (such as a cast-iron skillet). Set aside.
- Whisk together the vinaigrette. Set aside.
- To make the bean dip, mash about 3/4 of the beans in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Fold in the whole beans. Season to taste. Set aside in a serving bowl. Drizzle the bread with a light drizzle of olive oil and a little salt and lots of black pepper.
- Set the almonds in the pan onto the grill and let them heat through and slowly toast. Keep an eye and shake them occasionally. Set aside when toasted.
- To grill the kale, put about one-third of the kale on the grill at a time. Your goal is to let it heat up a little and become tender and get crispy and charred in just a few spots. (You are not making kale chips, and you do not want them all to get crispy or crunchy.) Turn it with tongs a time or two as it heats, and then remove to plate. Grill the other batches. Each batch grilled on my charcoal grill for 2 minutes, give or take.
- Toast the bread, getting a nice toast and grill marks on each side. Remove and rub the bread with the raw garlic clove.
- Chop the kale roughly and place in a big bowl with the almonds and parmesan. Then chop two slices of the bread into croutons and put in the salad. Toss the salad with the vinaigrette. Place the remaining bread with the dip and serve.