The New Go-To Kale Salad


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I’m back from a whirlwind trip to NYC and one thing is certain – I over did it on the pizza. Which means today feels like the right time to introduce you to my New Go-To Kale Salad!

The New Go-To Kale Salad from (@whatsgabycookin)

A few months back we were up in Portland visiting some friends and we had the most life changing kale salad as a starter one night. I know, who says a kale salad is life changing, right? But trust me – it is!! It’s the most glorious kale salad on the planet. Add a few things to it and just you wait. First, some perfectly cooked flaked salmon, yes please. My This Is Everything blend sprinkled on top because duh. Then an avocado or two and you’re almost there. Don’t skimp on the bread crumb topping – it gives it that crunch you love!! And voila – you’re looking at your new favorite salad. Pinkie promise!!

The New Go-To Kale Salad from (@whatsgabycookin)

The base of this recipe was inspired by that night at Ava Gene’s and the corresponding chefs cookbook which we featured a few months back!

The New Go-To Kale Salad

Gaby Dalkin


  • 3 bunches lacinato kale Tuscan kale or cavolo nero, thick ribs cut out
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese plus more to finish
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chile flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon wedges for serving on the side of the salad
  • 2 teaspoons Gaby’s This is Everything Seasoning
  • 1-2 avocados sliced

For the Salmon

  • 1 lb salmon cut into 4 4-ounce filets
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the breadcrumbs

  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  • Stack several kale leaves on top of one another and roll them up into a tight cylinder. With a sharp knife, slice crosswise into very thin, about 1/16 inch, ribbons. Put the kale in a salad spinner, rinse in cool water, and spin until completely dry. Pile the kale into a bowl.
  • Put the chopped garlic on a cutting board and mince it even more until you have a paste. Transfer the garlic to a small bowl, add the pecorino, a few tablespoons of olive oil, lemon juice, chile flakes, salt, and plenty of black pepper, and whisk to combine.
  • Pour the dressing over the kale and toss well to thoroughly combine. Taste and adjust with more lemon, salt, chile flakes, or black pepper. Let the salad sit for about 5 minutes so the kale softens slightly. Top with the toasted breadcrumbs, more cheese, and drizzle with more oil and the This Is Everything seasoning.

For the salmon

  • Sprinkle the salmon filets with salt and pepper. Heat a nonstick pan over high heat. Add the oil to the pan and then add the fish. Cook the salmon about 2-3 minutes until there’s a golden crust. Then flip the salmon and cook another minute or two on the skin side. Remove the salmon and add on the salad as needed

For the breadcrumbs

  • Melt the butter in a small non stick skillet. Add the panko breadcrumbs and toast for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Remove from heat and set aside.

Photo by Matt Armendariz // Food Styling by Adam Pearson // Prop Styling by Gena Sigala // Recipe by What’s Gaby Cooking

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Recipe Rating


  1. Marjorie Elson

    This is unrelated to your recipes, which I love. I used to be able to save your recipes to my Dropbox, but I can no longer do that. Has something changed about the way your website works? (I am able to save other recipes to Dropbox. Only “New York Times Cooking” is saved on their site.)

    I do have your cookbook, and, often, I can find your recipes there. Thank you.

  2. Kimi Hardesty

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try! I am so glad I discovered you!

  3. Betty Ann Forge

    How to prepare the panko breadcrumbs, buttered and toasted? Thank you.

  4. Cindy Wilt

    Excellent! My husband loved it. I forgot the avocado but still delicious!

  5. Lori

    I would like to make this tonight, but I don’t have your seasoning on hand. What can I garnish with that would be similar?


    […] the YES I MUST MAKE LIST: garlic fried rice,  kale salad with salmon, pumpkin […]

  7. Miren Brito

    Hi Gabi,

    This salad seems so good… what about replacing the bread with quinoa or cuscus?

    I never cook but would like to start trying some of your recipes.
    Thank you for sharing!


  8. Sheri

    This salad is perfection! Made it tonight and I am in love!! The breadcrumbs are amazing and must not be left out. Delish!!!!