Kale Salad with Pistachio Dressing - We are not Martha

Chopped Kale Salad with Pistachio Dressing

Kale Salad with Pistachio Dressing -- The best kale salad you've ever had! | wearenotmartha.com

How often does it happen that a salad blows your mind? Unless said salad is packed with ahi tuna, it’s not often for me. Tell me you’re making me a salad that’s pretty much all greens and some nuts and I’ll probably say “OK, fine. I’ll have a healthy lunch. Followed by about 14 cookies.” But what if that green salad was packed with so much deliciousness that you would choose it over a cookie any day and would legit not be able to stop thinking about it for weeks upon weeks? That was me when I had the Ubiquitous Kale Salad at Cambridge’s Alden & Harlow back in February. Oh, a nice little kale salad sounds like a good way to start a meal, I thought. But it ended up being one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. Funny how that happens.

I couldn’t get the kale salad out of my head, but sadly, can’t trek across the city for dinner every evening. If only. So, I finally decided to recreate the salad in my own kitchen. Well, a version of it anyway. A version that will do the job in relieving the craving until I can get back to the restaurant again. Especially if I can simply put the dressing into a container and pour it into my mouth.

Chopped Kale Salad with Pistachio Dressing (serves about 4)
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  • 3 C chopped kale
  • 1/2 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachio nuts (about 60 pistachios)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 lemon, juiced (2 T lemon juice), plus 1/2 t lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup EVOO
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 t hot pepper flakes

Kale Salad with Pistachio Dressing Ingredients.jpg

I highly recommend buying pre-washed kale in a bag. It’s my life-saver and I wish it kept forever in my fridge because I would so buy 500 bags of it.

This part is pretty easy. You’re just going to chop up the kale and slice the fennel. Better Homes and Gardens has an excellent fennel chopping guide.

Sliced Fennel.jpg

Put chopped kale and fennel in a large bowl.

Kale and Fennel.jpg

The rest of the work goes into the dressing. But trust me, it’s not that much work either. First, you’ll lightly toast the pistachios. I put mine on a foil-covered baking sheet in my toaster oven and keep a very close eye on them. You probably don’t have to toast them if you don’t want to. I bet raw would be delicious, too.

Toasted Pistachios.jpg

Put the pistachios in your blender (reserve a few for topping your salad), along with the garlic, lemon juice, hot water, about 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Pistachios Olive Oil.jpg

Blend well, until the mixture is smooth. Does it need more olive oil? Continue to pour in and blend. Taste. Add more salt and pepper if needed.

Pistachio Dressing.jpg

Toss kale and fennel with dressing until very well coated.

Serve on salad plates. Top with extra pistachios, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest.

Kale Salad with Pistachio Dressing -- The best kale salad you've ever had! | wearenotmartha.com

Die because you are so, so happy you have this salad in your life. In your kitchen. In your mouth.

Kale Salad with Pistachio Dressing -- The best kale salad you've ever had! | wearenotmartha.com

And then smile because, when you think about it, this salad really is pretty darn healthy. Especially if you’re in the camp that thinks extra-virgin olive oil is a diet essential. Which I am.

Kale Salad with Pistachio Dressing -- The best kale salad you've ever had! | wearenotmartha.com

We talk about kale all the time here on We are not Martha. And about how it’s ridiculously trendy. But also ridiculously awesome. If you still have some “kale questioners” in your life, I recommend serving them this salad (what? I firmly believe in forcing food upon people until they change their minds about disliking it). The chopped kale makes it a bit easier to eat and obviously the dressing is just plain fab.

Kale Salad with Pistachio Dressing -- The best kale salad you've ever had! | wearenotmartha.com

We haven’t really talked about pistachios here much, but I’m pretty sure they’re the new super trendy nut. And hopefully not simply because the pistachio people somehow got some major budget to make several totally weird commercials. They’ve always been my favorite nut, but this was my first time making them into a dressing.

Kale Salad with Pistachio Dressing -- The best kale salad you've ever had! | wearenotmartha.com

You have no idea how happy this salad is making me. Did I ever think I’d be talking about kale equating happiness? Well, no. But it’s a good place to be. There are about a billion other must-order items on Alden & Harlow’s menu, but I honestly don’t think I can go back without ordering this salad again. But in the meantime, I’m pretty darn thrilled with this version.

Have you ever attempted to recreate a restaurant dish?


Kale Salad with Pistachio Dressing -- The best kale salad you've ever had! | wearenotmartha.com

19 Responses to "Chopped Kale Salad with Pistachio Dressing"

  1. This salad sounds so amazing! Pistachios have quickly become one of my favorite snacks, but wow I never thought about making a dressing from them. Plus I’m a big fan of any way I can add kale into my diet. Basically this salad is happening in my future for sure!

  2. Justine says:

    This salad is gorg!! I believe that it’s super tasty!

  3. yum. love the pistachio flavor against the kale.

  4. pistachio dressing? oh yum. what a fabulous idea!

  5. That’s too funny – we ended up ordering at the kale salad (and the butternut squash salad) at Alden & Harlow as “starters,” but they ended up being our favorite dishes of the night!

  6. Pistachio dressing! I am more than excited to give that a try. I’ve got so many pistachios in the pantry that I can’t seem to get through. Love it.

  7. I loved this salad at Alden & Harlow, too – so glad you shared a recipe so I can make it at home! I live dangerously close to the restaurant and it would be fine if all I’m getting is this salad, but it’s always the burger and the chips & dip hehehe

  8. Megan says:

    That salad does sound fabulous! The one at Alden & Harlow is great and Del Frisco’s Grille has a really good one too!

  9. Odetta says:

    I love this one. The dressing sounds soo good.

  10. I agree, salads never make me particularly excited but I’m trying to eat healthier so this recipe comes at a great time. So glad that you endorse this salad as a non-salad lover!

  11. Shannon says:

    have you tried the kale salad at the painted burro? another faborite. I’m going to have to try this one, and go back to alden & harlow… didn’t get to try everything 🙂

  12. it’s no secret i’m obsessed with kale!! this sounds amazing!

  13. I don¡¯t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  14. You had me at pistachio dressing!

  15. Amanda says:

    I agree – Alden & Harlow’s kale salad is totally addictive, and I was so glad to come across your version of it! I also agree that I will never step foot in their restaurant again without ordering it; the chips & dip too.

  16. Chris says:

    I was craving the ubiquitous kale salad I had at Alden & Harlow just this weekend and wanted to make it at home. I google it and found your recipe! Going to try your version tonight! A&H kale salad is out of this world amazing. Thank you for trying to recreate it and sharing!

  17. Lee says:

    Had this very salad the other night at A&H. Am from North Carolina, so popping over to the restaurant is not an option. You cannot imagine how happy I was to see this post! because I, too, was craving that crazy salad. Also craving the charred broccoli with the butternut squash pesto and the roasted carrots. Try those he next time you visit!

  18. Kristina Yee says:

    I just had this salad at Alden & Harlow last night so this morning I came on the web to see if I could find a recipe. So, thanks for this! Just so you know, the chef told us that the creamy texture in the dressing was actually creme fraiche. I’m going to try your recipe, but use the creme to get the creamy texture. So yummy!!!

  19. Sues says:

    @Kristina- Thank you!! I’ve been craving this salad lately, so next time I will make it with creme fraiche. I hope you enjoy it!!

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