Recipe: The Gusto 101 Cavolo Nero Salad

I love making salads at home because it’s a super easy way to get vegetables into my diet and for me, a good salad with a side of protein is the perfect meal.  But who can eat the same salad every day right?

Gusto 101 is one of my favourite restaurants in the city and they make one of my favourite salads.  The Cavolo Nero.  It’s a super fresh tasting dish primarily made of kale, currants, parmesan, nuts and a zesty citrus dressing. But given that it’s only JUST a salad, the $17 price point can sometimes be hard to swallow.

Image: Gusto 101

I decided one evening that I was going to try and recreate the Cavolo Nero so of course I reached for my trusty friend Google.  There are quite a few variations on the recipe – none of course that are considered “official” or directly from the restaurant.  The version I’ll take you through is the one that I found worked the best and of course tasted the closest to the original.

What You Need:
1 Lemon (about ¼ cup of the juice)
2 TBS Honey
4 TBS Olive Oil
¼ cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
4 cups Kale
Pine Nuts


  1. Combine your lemon juice, honey, olive oil and Parmesan cheese.  Stir well.
  2. Remove kale leaves from the stems
  3. Wash and dry your kale and finely chop the leaves into very small pieces
  4. Add your kale to large bowl and combine with the dressing
  5. Let this sit for at least 30 minutes or longer.  I have made this salad twice now and have let it sit both times for 30 minutes. If you prefer your kale to be softer or more “massaged” let it sit for anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  6. Once ready, add currants, pine nuts and some more cheese (if you choose)


I love love love this salad.  I could easily have it every week.  And the best part? If you have leftovers you can totally have them the next day even though the salad is fully dressed.  The kale will likely have just absorbed the dressing a little bit more and gotten softer over time.  The other thing I love about this salad is that it’s totally customizable.  You can swap sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for the pine nuts.  You can add pomegranate seeds or another light fruit.  It works in so many ways and pairs perfectly with any protein or simply on its own.  Would love to hear from you if you try this recipe or even some of your favourite summer salads to make.



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