Home ยป Massaged Kale Salad with Asparagus, Asiago, and Bacon

Massaged Kale Salad with Asparagus, Asiago, and Bacon

Massaged Kale Salad 1

I installed the Timehop app on my cell phone and every day it saddens me a bit how fast time goes. Almost 6 years ago, our dog used to be the pudgiest, most wrinkly bulldog puppy…and Mr. Prevention and I lived in Italy 7 years ago when we had our engagement pictures taken. And then today was this picture of my college roommates and I in Vegas for Spring Break during our senior year…8 years ago. It must be true, like they say, that the older you get, the faster time goes.


Massaged Kale Salad 2

My mom asked me if we were interested in doing anything for Easter and sadly, it’s not possible with our trip and my new job starting the following day. In many ways, the holidays have changed so much over time with the passing of grandparents and the birth of new generations. Change is inevitable, but there’s something to say about tradition and holidays and so much of that involves food. Not having an Easter meal is sad to me!

Traditionally, my family’s Easter meal would include ham with my grannie’s famous raisin sauce, hot cross buns, and the rest was up in the air. Sometimes we would have some type of potato, a souffle of some sort (usually pineapple), a jello salad, deviled eggs, and a salad.

Massaged Kale Salad 3

So, while we will not be formally celebrating Easter as a family, I’m envious of those that are. It’s always a great time to get together as a family and enjoy time together, as well as a great meal.

When McCormick asked that I create a recipe for an Easter meal, my mind quickly went to spring’s best produce, such as leafy greens and asparagus. I coupled it with tangy lemon, savory bacon, and rich cheese that is massaged with an herbed mustard vinaigrette. It’s the perfect balance good-for-you and great-tasting that is ideal for an Easter celebration.

Massaged Kale Salad 4

Massaged Kale Salad with Asparagus, Asiago, and Bacon
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 heaping cups
  • 1 lb asparagus. cut into 2-inch pieces
  • ½ cup + 1 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 bunch curly kale, stalks removed, sliced or chopped
  • 1 bunch lacinato ("dinosaur") kale, stalks removed, sliced or chopped
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1½ tsp dried thyme
  • ¾ tsp salt, divided
  • 3 oz Asiago, shaved
  • 6 oz nitrate-free bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • ¼ cup almond slivers
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Arrange asparagus pieces on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil; toss well. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and black pepper, to taste. Roast asparagus for 10 minutes; remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, put slice/chopped kale in a large bowl. In a liquid measuring cup or small bowl, whisk to combine remaining ½ cup olive oil with the lemon juice, ground mustard, oregano, thyme, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt.
  3. Drizzle half of the dressing over the kale and using hands, massage the dressing into the kale for 1-2 minutes, tenderizing the kale and causing it to turn a darker shade of green. Pour remaining dressing over kale and continue massaging 1-2 minutes or until well combined. Toss salad with Asiago, bacon crumbles, almond slivers, and slightly cooled asparagus; serve.
Find out more about kale varieties!
Disclaimer: I was compensated for this post as a contribution to the 2015 McCormick Health & Wellness Blogger Insider Program. All opinions are my own.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 heaping cup Calories: 224 Fat: 18.8 Carbohydrates: 9.1 Sugar: 1.2 Sodium: 306 Fiber: 2.5 Protein: 7.4 Cholesterol: 12
Be well,


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  1. Kim (Feed Me, Seymour)
    March 24, 2015 / 6:40 am

    It’s funny how things evolve over time. We used to have a big Easter meal and I would put so much emphasis on it. I’m pretty sure this year, we might just have breakfast and then veg out in PJs all day! Have some of this awesome salad for dinner, relax and do nothing. ๐Ÿ™‚ P.S. What is the Easter bunny bringing for Shea?

  2. Jennifer Cole
    June 5, 2015 / 3:49 pm

    Umm, yes. Going to make this one tonight!

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