Crunchy Emerald Kale Salad with Peanut Vinaigrette.
This emerald kale salad with peanut vinaigrette is a copycat of the Houston’s emerald kale salad! It’s so crunchy and flavorful, savory and nutty. It’s addictive and a fantastic base for chicken, steak, shrimp or beans.
This salad is about to change your life! Not being dramatic at all.
I hate to be cliche and share a salad as the first recipe of 2022, but OH MY GOSH is this one fantastic.
And while it certainly can be a meal, it’s more of an accompaniment to any meal. Or a really good lunch.
Like one that you can’t stop thinking about. I swear.
This recipe is a version of the Hillstone Emerald Kale Salad. Lacy had it this summer and raved about it over and over again – the way she described it practically made my mouth water. Shredded kale and cabbage that has tons of texture. All coated in the most delicious peanut dressing, with some herbs and green onions, tons of crunchy peanuts and parmesan cheese. Sounds like savory city.
The salad is SO crunchy. So savory. So crisp and fresh and hearty. The flavor is absolutely amazing and one I crave so often, it’s unbelievable.
Here’s what we’re working with:
The shredded kale and green cabbage. I like to use savoy or napa cabbage. They are my favorite variety. Either crunchy green or tuscan kale works too.
Fresh herbs and green onions. Some cilantro – a good handful of it. You can toss in some parsley and mint too if you have it.
Parmesan cheese. The good cheese, of course! Freshly, finely grated.
Roasted, salted peanuts, all chopped up for extra crunch. Ooooh these are so good.
And a peanut dressing that will make your taste buds explode. It’s true. Lime spritz and all.
This dressing!! I have no words.
Now it does require a specific ingredient, which is kind of a pain. However the dressing is SO good that it’s imperative to keep the ingredient on hand so you can make it all the time.
It’s a roasted peanut dressing. Originally, I thought I would just use regular peanut oil, which is totally doable. But then after researching a bit, I discovered this roasted peanut oil.
Holy cow, it is a game changer.
I found mine on amazon, but my local grocery store carries this brand so some stores may have it too. I also bought the roasted almond oil too! (side note: this is also the brand that makes my favorite olive oil spray that you guys always ask about over on instagram!).
Whether you go for the roasted peanut oil or use regular peanut oil, the peanut flavor is KEY. It makes this salad so incredibly savory and nutty – almost buttery. This is definitely my new favorite dressing and one I can find myself using constantly in 2022!
I finish the entire thing off with a spritz of lime because it brightens everything up and really makes the flavor POP.
This salad usually comes with chicken but I left it off because I love to use it as a base or side salad. It works SO well as a side to almost anything. It’s a crunchy salad meets slaw – because the kale and cabbage are shredded, you could even use it as a topping.
If you want to add chicken or shrimp or even chickpeas, you totally can. Steak works too! A rotisserie chicken or can of beans would be the easiest thing ever. The base flavor is so incredible that the meat you add only needs a simple seasoning. If you really want to take things over the top, add some popcorn chicken and it’s the best salad.
Another thing I love is that the kale and cabbage are sturdy enough to hold up awhile in the fridge. I still prefer them freshly tossed in the dressing, but if you end up with leftovers, they will be pretty darn good the next day.
Oh and P.S. serve with fries on the side, of course!
Emerald Kale Salad with Peanut Vinaigrette
Crunchy Emerald Kale Salad with Peanut Vinaigrette
- 6 cups shredded green kale (tuscan or curly both work)
- 4 cups shredded green cabbage (I like napa or savoy the best)
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup roasted, salted peanuts, chopped
- lime wedges, for spritzing
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon honey
- kosher salt and pepper
- pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- ⅓ cup roasted peanut oil
- Combine the shredded kale and cabbage in a large bowl. Drizzle on ¼ cup of the peanut vinaigrette and use your (clean!) hands to massage the dressing into the kale and cabbage, doing so for a minute or 2. Let the kale sit for 5 minutes.
- After it sits, toss in the green onions, cilantro and parmesan. Toss well. Add in the peanuts. Drizzle on more dressing if needed. Serve and spritz with fresh lime right before eating.
- Whisk together the vinegar, lime juice, dijon and honey with a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk in a pinch of pepper flakes. Slowly stream in the roasted peanut oil while whisking constantly. This stores great in the fridge for a few days, just shake/mix well before using.
Did you make this recipe?
Be sure to follow @howsweeteats on instagram and tag #howsweeteats. You can also post a photo of your recipe to our facebook page.
I appreciate you so much!
21 Comments on “Crunchy Emerald Kale Salad with Peanut Vinaigrette.”
Love this salad! Need to get the peanut oil, etc. as an aside, Houston’s has always been a favorite. We don’t have one where I live now, unfortunately. Live see see more copycat recipes from this one.🙏
This looks amazing! What peanuts did you use? Thanks for sharing!
Her sentiments were not an exaggeration. This salad is just so good! The scallion, cilantro and peanuts come together beautifully and the vinaigrette is fantastic. You get the flavor similar to a peanut sauce (which I love) but without the thickness because you’re using roasted peanut oil instead of actual peanut butter. Perfect for a salad. Just love this. Thank you for sharing!
I couldn’t wait to try this salad and it did not disappoint! It was so simple to make and the roasted peanut oil is a game changer! Loved this and will be a regular in my rotation.
We have a peanut allergy in our house. Do you think it substituting almonds and an alternate oil would work?
yes!! so i also bought this roasted almond oil and it’s really good too! i love it with almonds
Will the salad keep a few days in the fridge? Would love to meal prep this as an office lunch (I’m thinking a hard boiled egg on the side to add in for the protein).
yes so the kale and cabbage are so hearty that i find that they do last in the fridge overnight. but if you want them multiple days, i would just store the dressing on the side and add it as you go!
Yum yum yum!!!
I’ve never even heard of Houston’s but I’d like to thank them for this amazing salad and to thank Jessica for taking the time to figure out the recipe, delish!!!!! Made exactly as written and wouldn’t change a thing!
This salad is so good! Made it the day before to bring to work and the dressing doesn’t make the kale or cabbage wilted, everything stays crunchy. Personally, I added more cilantro just because I love the taste. Definitely going to be my new go to salad!!
So good! Made it for the second time today, and the roasted peanut dressing is crazy good. Going to try it with chickpeas and dried cranberries or chopped apple too.
I wanted to love this but since I was unable to find roasted peanut oil and had to use regular peanut oil – it was quite plain. I added a small teaspoon of roasted sesame oil to add some depth but it still didn’t quite meet my hopes. I guess I would say don’t make it if you can’t find the roasted peanut oil.
No roasted peanut oil here. Can I use sesame oil?
hi! Do you have nutrition info a available for the dressing?!
I am also interested in the nutrition value because I calorie count. Thanks
I am on my second container of Roasted Peanut Oil because of this salad! I could eat it everyday all day! Thank you for sharing it!
I am allergic to cilantro, parsley and dill, but I love Kale and cabbage salad. What can I use for a substitute?
Tried this today, but unfortunately the salad had a bitter taste. It wasn’t bad, just didn’t taste like Banderas.
Really enjoyed this salad! The flavors are really fresh.
Thank you thank you for coming so close to my beloved emerald kale salad at Houstons. I also added lots of thinly sliced fresh mint as well and poured all the dressing on all the finished salad. Already ate half of it so we’ll see how it holds up for tomorrow all dressed and ready to go. Over Thanksgiving weekend I went with my family to Houstons and got their yummy famous black bean veggie burger with honey mustard dressing and also the kale salad. Just heaven. And tonight a little bit of heaven too. I used pecorino Romano cheese as I like it more than Parmesan. SO Good! So happy!
It was really good. The only issue I had was the bitterness someone else mentioned and I think it’s due to the apple cider vinegar. When I make it again (because I definitely plan to!) I will replace ACV with rice vinegar and maple syrup instead of honey. I agree that the sesame oil is close but not quite on the nose, so I ordered the toasted peanut oil for next time!