Kale Salad with Lemon Basil Buttermilk Ranch

Kale Salad with Lemon Basil Buttermilk Ranch

Kale Salad with Lemon Basil Buttermilk Ranch,
Breadcrumbs and Parmesan
Recipe by Nicole Putzel

Kale kale kale can get kinda boring but as the torn leaves mingle with her awesome Lemon Basil Buttermilk Ranch Dressing, this “simple” salad emerges as anything but. Chef Nicole Putzel has managed to create an alluring salad where fresh breadcrumbs add a toasty crunchy texture while parmesan cheese adds salty, nutty, umami notes. All the various complex flavors in the dressing take the humble chopped kale to another level.

Nicole wrote,“Lemon basil is my absolute favorite variety of the herb. It has a bright citrusy flavor that is sweeter than traditional basil. The lemon basil gives the buttermilk ranch dressing an extra punch and tastes delicious with raw kale. The dressing recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups of dressing , so you’ll have plenty left over to use in other salads.”

Kale Salad Recipe and Cookbook Giveaway!

Kale Salad with Lemon Basil Buttermilk Ranch


  • 1 bunch kale (about 4 cups once ribs removed and chopped)
  • freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons, juiced separately
  • 2 slices sourdough bread, toasted
  • 1 cup vegan or regular mayonnaise
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c. lemon basil leaves, densely packed
  • 1 scallion, white parts only, thinly sliced
  • 1 T. dijon mustard
  • 1 T. basil olive oil
  • 1 t. sea salt
  • 1 t. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • few purple chive blossoms for garnish

Kale Salad with Lemon Basil Buttermilk Ranch


  1. Tear kale leaves off ribs and discard ribs. Chop leaves and soak in cold water; drain and spin in salad spinner to dry.
  2. Massage shredded kale with juice of 1 lemon. Refrigerate in sealed, non-reactive container in refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  3. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  4. Place toasted bread in food processor and pulse into breadcrumbs. Scatter breadcrumbs on baking sheet and toast again in oven for 5 -7 minutes (being careful not to burn). Remove from oven.
  5. Make dressing: Combine remaining lemon juice, mayonnaise, buttermilk, Greek yogurt, lemon basil, scallion, Dijon mustard, basil olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper in powerful blender and pure until smooth. (Dressing can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days).
  6. Toss kale, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of dressing or more to coat entire salad. Garnish with chive blossoms, if using, and serve.

Kale Salad with Lemon Basil Buttermilk Ranch

Edible Flowers

Nicole garnished her salad with chive blossoms. I only had edible dianthus on hand. Dianthus go great with this kale salad. The taste is ever so slightly sweet with notes of mild clove and nutmeg, and the hot pink and white colors bring a pop to the presentation.

French Blue Rosé

French Blue is a nice dry rosé from Bordeaux that’s 80% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Merlot. This intriguing blend has the fresh-cut flavor of watermelon, strawberry, and cherry. It’s dry and drinkable, with a crisp, refreshing finish.

Cookbook Giveaway Thru 6/14/2020

Vegetarian Springtime RigatoniVegetarian Springtime Rigatoni recipe here.

Nicole has generously offered to give away a copy of her wonderful cookbook, The Seasoned Plate: Delicious and Healthy Real Food. For a chance to win, simply follow us and leave a comment on the Springtime Rigatoni:

  1. Must follow both @putzelkitchen and @tasteblog on Instagram.
  2. Leave a comment on either of our Instagram sites. OR leave a comment on the Rigatoni here on Taste With The Eyes OR on Putzel Kitchen, OR either of our Facebook pages.
  3. The lucky winner picked by random on Sunday evening June 14, 2020. Winner announced Monday June 15, 2020.

UPDATE: Congrats to the Cookbook Winner @siegalpaula !!!

Happy Anniversary Taste With The Eyes!

On a final note, it has been 13 years since I started this blog. It’s been so much fun reading old anniversary posts, and my sentiment is still the same after all these years! I penned the following on the 3 year anniversary in 2010:

“Cooking, photographing, writing, then ultimately sharing my culinary adventures on Taste With The Eyes is a source of much joy for me. This little food blog is an ongoing learning experience, a terrific creative outlet, and a source of pride.

It has opened doors and provided new opportunities. It is the means with which to connect with fellow foodies, and a wonderful way make new friends with various interests and passions from all around the globe. I am grateful to have the opportunity to share food and ideas and experiences with you.”

And here are just a few links to some of the many memorable anniversary posts over the years:

2012 – 5 year anniversary with Marie of Proud Italian Cook, Joan of Foodalogue , and Nami of Just One Cookbook  All great recipes! Thanks Ladies!

2014 – 7 year anniversary

2017 – 10 year anniversary

Thank You My Friends

It continues to be such a pleasure to share my cooking and photography adventures with you all!

Toujours Bon Appétit,
Lori Lynn

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