Salmon and Kale - Two superfoods in one meal!
Salmon and kale salad is one of my absolute favorite weeknight dinners. The oil and dry spice based marinade creates a nice, mildly crisp crust on the salmon, vinegar add a delightful zing to the massaged kale. And even better, salmon and kale are both superfoods! Salmon is high in protein and rich in good fatty omega 3 acids. The kale is dense in nutrients like vitamins A, B, and C while being incredibly low calorie. Combining the two makes a delicious and incredibly healthy meal.
Which kind of salmon is best?
I just read an insightful article from the New York Times that discussed the health benefits of salmon. The great news is that you basically can’t miss! They evaluated Atlantic and Pacific Salmon, as well as compared wild caught to farm raised. In short, all of the types of salmon tested were highly nutritious and rich in omega 3 acids, and they were well under international limits for mercury.
So regardless of your budget or what’s available, grab the salmon that appeals most to you.
Salmon and Kale Salad is the easy weeknight meal
Another reason I love this meal is that it is so easy to make. The salmon only needs to rest in the marinade for as long as it takes to massage the kale, which takes no more than 5 minutes. And then properly defrosted, the salmon cooks in under 15 minutes (sometimes under 10 if your filets are thin). You can also grill, air fry, or bake the salmon depending on your preference. And, if you’re feeding more than two people, just increase the quantity of each ingredient by however many more people you are serving.
Garden fresh options
This meal is especially delicious in the summer when I can use my garden’s fresh vegetables. Every year since I started making this, I’ve grown at least 6 kale plants in my garden. The great part about kale is that you can start harvesting it as soon as its leaves are about as long as your hand and the plant is approximately 12 inches tall. I usually plant by the end of May, and by the start of July I’m able to start harvesting enough leaves at a time for this salad. Kale is a long-lived plant too, so I’m able to harvest it well into September, often even into October.
You’ll notice I recommend adding additional veggies to the salad at serving time. I love to pull these from my garden too. Cucumbers, tomatoes, radishes, peppers – if it’s in my garden it will end up on this salad at some point. I’ve listed my favorites here, but you can add any vegetable that you enjoy.
Salmon: Fresh or frozen?
Any kind of salmon can be used for this recipe. I generally use skinless Atlantic salmon, fresh when it’s available, otherwise I use Kirkland brand frozen filets. I’ve also tried Coho salmon with this recipe before, which was equally delicious.
Why should I massage my kale?
Fresh kale is one of the tougher greens to chew, which can make it pretty unpalatable sometimes. I’ve noticed this to be very true of the kale in my garden. No matter how tasty it is, if something is hard to chew it can be hard to eat a significant quantity of it. Massaging the kale with olive oil, salt, citrus, and vinegar for only 2-3 minutes makes it far easier to chew, while also adding a delightful zing. Notice too that those are all common salad dressing ingredients. So not only does it make the kale easier to chew, it’s also a built in dressing!
How to make Salmon and Kale Salad
Salmon and Kale Salad
- 5 Kale leaves large
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tsp Lime or lemon juice
- 1 tsp Red wine vinegar
- Sprinkle salt
- 2 Hard-boiled eggs
- Additional vegetables such as cucumber, tomato, radish, or bell pepper
- 2 Salmon filets
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 2 tsp Smokey garlic paprika or paprika of choice
- Sprinkle of each salt and pepper
- 1/2 tbsp Canola oil for frying
- Combine 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tsp smokey garlic paprika in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle the salmon filets with salt and pepper, then brush on the oil and paprika mixture. Refrigerate until ready to cook.
- Remove the stems from the kale leaves by ripping the leafy parts off. Rip into bite sized pieces.
- Wash the ripped kale in a colander and pat dry with a paper towel. It does not have to be completely dry, just remove some of the extra water.
- Put the washed kale, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp lime juice, 1 tsp red wine vinegar, and a sprinkle of salt into a medium bowl and massage until it reduces in size by ¼ - ⅓, approximately 2-4 minutes. Cover and set aside
- Heat a skillet with ½ tbsp canola oil over medium high heat. When hot, fry the salmon for 2-3 minutes per side, until cooked through.
- Divide the kale between two plates, then add the salmon, one hard boiled egg, and any other vegetables you’d like to add. I added tomato and cucumber.