Baby Collard Salad with Preserved Lemons

by autumn on April 21, 2011

I consider myself a pretty healthy eater. I know you’re laughing, but really! I like treats as much as the next girl, but I also have a pretty serious thing for vegetables. (Do you not see the beet dishtowel in the photo up there?!) Even so, there are some vegetables whose virtuousness I just can’t face.

Kale. I see it spicing up decorative planters and I secretly think that’s where it should stay. I try (and try!) to love kale, but have a hard time wrangling it into something I like eating. And have you heard of these raw salads that involve “massaging” the kale? I’ve been horrified and fascinated by the kale massage for a while now.

Which brings me to the part of the post where I confess to having gotten curious enough to make and eat something in the massaged kale genreā€”and like it. There are a few important contingencies that got me to eat some hardy, raw greens. The first are those cute little baby collards in the picture. They’re young, tender, and perfect for easing yourself into the whole raw greens thing. Second, preserved lemons. Preserved lemons are the bacon of citrus: without them, the salad is good, but with them it’s something else.

This is so easy to put together; it has already made it’s way into two weeknight dinners. If you’re around a farmer’s market look for small, tender greens (which are just coming into season where I am) that are not much larger than baby spinach leaves. This recipe is adapted from the always inspiring 101 cookbooks, so if you don’t have access to a farmer’s market, use lacinato kale as the original recipe does.

Raw Collard Salad with Preserved Lemons


  • 2 1/2 cups baby collard leaves, loosely packed (about 1/2 bunch)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T lemon juice
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes
  • 2 sections preserved lemon, finely diced

Cooking Directions

  1. Wash and pat dry the collards. Remove the stems. If you are substituting lacinato kale, cut out the ribs.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes until completely combined.
  3. Add the collards and preserved lemons and toss to combine.
  4. Let it rest at room temperature for at least 5 minutes before eating.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


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