The Best Kale Salad


  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, ribs discarded and leaves cut into thin strips
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 pinches salt
  • Lemon Vinaigrette:
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch garlic powder, or to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Salad:
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 1/2 cup frozen roasted corn (such as Trader Joe’s), thawed
  • 1/4 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grated smoked white cheese (such as Beecher’s Smoked Flagship)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped


Place kale in a large serving bowl; add 1 teaspoon olive oil and 2 pinches salt. Gently massage the oil and salt into kale. Set aside to allow kale to soften, about 10 minutes.

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Combine 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper in a plastic or glass container with a lid. Cover container and vigorously shake until dressing is light yellow and evenly combined.

Layer carrots, roasted corn, tortilla chips, almonds, and smoked cheese on top of kale. Drizzle dressing over salad. Mix salad using tongs to evenly distribute. Gently stir eggs into salad.