It’s been decided: kale wins the “Most Played-Out Ingredient” of 2013. It’s ubiquitous; kale salad, kale chips, braised kale, kale smoothies, kale meatballs, etc. Is it too much? Maybe. Is it time we embraced leafy greens as much as we have sweet potato fries and bacon donuts? Absolutely.

And as Pinterest will show you, there are about twenty million ways to serve kale. The aforementioned preparations are the wet dreams of Paleo-eating, cross-fit loving, twenty-something’s everywhere. While there’s nothing new with this kale salad, it’s damn tasty and a great way to quickly use up a bunch of kale languishing in your produce bin.

The supporting characters are proven winners: butter (never fails), sweet Ataulfo mangoes, crunchy toasted almonds,  bold rosemary, fiery chiles and a burst of bright lime juice make for a salad/lunch/side/snack that’ll make you forget about WOD’s and burpees (for a little while anyways).

Red Russian Kale with Buttered Mangoes, Almonds & Rosemary

I’ve only seen this particular varietal of kale at farmer’s markets, and it’s well worth seeking out; tender, sweet, with purple-green stalks and tender, frilly (not curly) leaves. It’s particularly well-suited to raw or warm (rather than cooked-to-death) preparations, whereas some of the heartier kale varieties can be overpowering in raw applications.

Serves 4


1 large bunch Red Russian kale

1 tablespoon unsalted butter (or coconut oil)

¼ cup almonds, chopped

1 small sprig rosemary

1 small dried Thai chile

1 Ataulfo or Champagne mango, peeled and sliced into strips

2 tablespoons lime juice

Salt, to taste

Prep the kale. Wash the kale in a sink full of water, thoroughly cleaning each leaf. Remove the kale to a cutting board and slice into ¼-inch ribbons. Spin dry in a salad spinner; pour into a large bowl and set aside.

Toast the almonds. In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the almonds, rosemary and chile, and cook until fragrant and the nuts are lightly toasted.  Add the mangoes, lime juice and salt and toss until just warmed through. Taste the dressing; it should be sweet, salty and with plenty of acid.

Dress the greens. Pour the hot mango dressing over the kale and toss to coat. Serve immediately.