This Spanish inspired Kale Salad with Manchego & Marcona Almonds is layered with hard boiled eggs, shaved Manchego cheese and Marcona almonds then tossed with a smoky paprika vinaigrette dressing.
It takes me about 2 weeks to get back into a normal eating schedule after returning from vacation. I throw caution to the wind when it comes to eating while traveling.
I brought back a bounty of edible loot from Spain (read my Spain Travel Post) and today I decided to combine it with what is abundant in my garden – Red Russian Kale.
The array of goodies at the Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria was awesome. After wandering aimlessly through the rows of vendors we settled for some fresh juices. I filled my shopping bag with smoked paprika, roasted Marcona almonds, extra virgin olive oil and Manchego cheese.
What is Manchego Cheese?
Manchego cheese is a rich and buttery sheep’s milk cheese. It’s semi-hard and has little air pockets throughout and it’s probably my favorite cheese besides parmesan. Unlike parmesan, it melts really well.
How can you use Manchego?
- Manchego is the star on this Naan pizza with Broccoli Pesto.
- As an appetizer, you can place it on a cracker with a dot of fig jam or get fancy with this Manchego Fig Bite or these Fig, Manchego and Honey Pastry Twists!
- Arugula Salad with Pears, Pepitas and Manchego
- Make a decadent Manchego mac n cheese
- Infamous Southern Johnny Cakes with Manchego
How to Make this Easy Kale Salad
This kale salad recipe is healthy and incorporates all the ingredients I bought in Barcelona. The perfect mix for a post-vacation detox!
Step 1: Make hard-boiled eggs.
My trick for perfect hard boiled eggs works every time. Place eggs in pot of cold water. Bring to a boil. As soon as the water boils, cover the pot, remove from heat. Let sit 10 minutes. Drain + cool. Then peel.
Step 2: Mix Dressing.
Smoky paprika is the key ingredient and flavor in this dressing.
Step 3: Massage kale with dressing.
How do you massage kale? It’s as easy as placing the kale in a bowl, adding a teaspoon or so of olive oil and just working it with your hands like your washing your hair!
In this recipe, you’ll massage the kale with the smoky paprika dressing. It really distributes the dressing flavors evenly across the salad.
- Why do you massage kale? Massaging the kale softens it. You should always massage kale…it makes it SO much more enjoyable to eat.
Step 4: Mix in Marcona almonds, manchego and hard boiled eggs.
Marcona almonds are quite possibly the best almond there is. Which is why they charge so darn much for them.
What is special about Marcona almonds?
Marcona almonds are smooth and meaty and salty and softer than regular almonds. I may have a slight addiction to these…so delicious! Which makes them a go-to for me when I’m making a holiday salad.
- What is a substitute for Marcona almonds? You can substitute regular almonds for Marcona, but I think once you taste Marcona almonds, you’ll understand why they are so amazing in this salad.
Feeling like more healthy greens? Check out these salad recipes>>!
This Spanish-inspired kale manchego salad features hard boiled eggs, delicious Marcona almonds and a smoky paprika dressing.
- 1 large bunch of kale about 10 large leaves, stems and ribs removed, coarsely chopped
- 2 large hardboiled eggs chopped
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/3 cup toasted almonds any kind will do, but Marcona are especially tasty
- 1/2 cup Manchego cheese shaved or grated (I like to include both textures)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Put the eggs in a small saucepan and fill with cold water so it covers the eggs completely. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain the eggs and peel them.
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Add the oil and whisk until combined.
In a large bowl, add the chopped kale and toss with the dressing. Using your fingers, massage the dressing into the kale leaves to soften the kale (2 min). I like to let the kale marinate in the dressing in the refrigerator for at least an hour before adding the toppings. It softens the kale and helps impart the smoky flavor from the paprika. It can be eaten right away as well.
Add the almonds and eggs and toss to incorporate. Grate and shave some Manchego over the top.
Taste and adjust with salt and pepper if needed.
Adapted from Brassicas by Laura B. Russell
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