Recipe: Sautéed Kale Salad with Golden Raisins and Feta

This recipe has been on repeat for lunches over the past few weeks, as my CSA box has been overflowing with bundles of kale and greens, and this salad has become my go-to way to keep up with it all.  If you are like me, you’ll agree that raw kale can be too tough and bitter for a salad (I almost never eat raw kale – way too much chewing!).  Sautéing the kale first allows the kale to become softer and sweeter, and also wilts down the total volume from a huge, overwhelming pile to a manageable looking panful.  This salad is a perfect meal-prep candidate, so make a big batch and keep in containers for healthy lunches to go all week!

I paired the sautéed kale with spicy golden raisins and creamy, salty feta cheese, topped with a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar for a nice fruity tang.  All of these flavors come together to create a dynamic salad full of different flavors and textures that keep it fun to eat.  All that kale is super healthy, and the raisins and feta add additional fiber and protein to the party to make this salad an absolute powerhouse!  If you need a little more protein to keep you full throughout the day, this salad will work great with chicken as a topper, or will pair nicely with nuts, sunflower seeds, or chickpeas.  Customize the toppings as you like to make this delightful salad work for you!

Recipe down below, photo up top!  This recipe is enough to make about 3 large salads (or 4 smaller ones) for meal prep purposes, so feel free to scale up or down based on your needs and what you have on hand!

Sauteed Kale Salad with Golden Raisins and Feta

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch (about 20 leaves) of kale
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • ¼ tsp red chili flakes
  • ¼ cup (about 2-3 oz) feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ tsp salt

Method:

  1. Wash the kale thoroughly.  Remove the leaves from the stems of the kale if the stem is thick/woody (this is optional, feel free to keep the stems in if using Tuscan kale or if you like them!).  Stack multiple kale leaves on top of each other, then roll them (lengthwise) into a large log.  Chop the kale (crosswise) across the log to create thin strips of kale.  Set the chopped kale aside as you continue to chop the remaining leaves.
  2. Once the kale is all chopped, add the olive oil to a large sauté pan or Dutch oven.  Heat the olive oil over medium high heat until the pan is warmed through (about 30 seconds), then add all of the kale.  Stir to combine and continue to stir occasionally until the kale begins to wilt, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the water to the pot with the kale, and cover to allow the kale to steam.  Steam the kale until it is bright green and tender, about 2 minutes.  After steaming, remove the cover from the pot and stir.  Continue cooking the kale until the water has fully evaporated out of the pan, about 2 minutes more.
  4. After cooking, remove the kale from a pan and allow to cool slightly, at least 10 minutes.  Add the golden raisins, chili flakes, and crumbled feta cheese, and toss to combine. 
    1. If making this for meal prep, stop here to store and save for later.  When ready to serve, continue to Step 5.
  5. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar and sprinkle the salt over the top of the salad, and toss to combine. 
  6. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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