Chef Liza Hinman’s Wilted Kale Salad

The Spinster Sisters

Santa Rosa CA

Chef Liza Hinman


Wilted Kale Salad

Serves 6

For the Salad:

3 bunches Lachinato kale (also called dino kale or Tuscan kale), washed

1 apple

1 delicata squash

¼ c Shaft’s 1 year blue cheese

1 2 lb loaf country style bread

¼ c diced applewood smoked bacon

Salt + pepper

¼ c mustard vinaigrette (recipe below)


Preheat the oven to 400°.


Cut the delicate squash in half (no need to remove the skin), remove the seeds with a small spoon, and dice each half into ¼’ pieces. Toss the squash in a bowl with ½ tablespoon canola oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until tender 10-15 minutes. Remove and cool.


Raise the oven temperature to 425°.  Remove the crust from the loaf of bread and discard.  Cut the bread into ½ dice pieces. Toss the bread with 1 tablespoon canola oil, salt and pepper and place onto a baking sheet.  Place into the oven and toast until golden on the outside, but still tender on the inside 5-8 minutes. Remove the croutons and cool.

Strip the kale from the stems, and chop roughly into 2 inch pieces.  Dice the apple into ¼” pieces. Hold to the side.

Prepare the mustard vinaigrette and hold to the side.


Heat a large saute pan and add ½ tablespoon olive oil and add the bacon.  Cook over medium heat until beginning to crisp, stirring occasionally. While the bacon is cooking, get a large salad bowl, and add 1 cup of the roasted squash, the croutons, the blue cheese and the apple. Add ¼ of the mustard vinaigrette.


Once the bacon is crisped, add the chopped kale to the pan.  Carefully toss with the bacon and drizzle with a few drops of water.  Continue to toss as it begins to wilt- and once it is just warmed through- scrape the kale and bacon into the salad bowl.  Toss with tongs until the dressing throughly coats the kale and the cheese begins to soften. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Divide evenly among 6 plates.


Mustard Vinaigrette

Makes 1 ½ cups can store for up to 2 weeks in the fridge

2 Tbs Dijon mustard

1/2 shallot, peeled and diced

1 tbs lemon juice

1 tbs white wine vinegar

3/4 c canola oil

¼ c Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper


Add the shallots, white wine vinegar and lemon juice to a bowl with a pinch of salt.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Add the mustard and whisk to incorporate. Slowly drizzle oil into the bowl while whisking to keep emulsified.  Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.


In the summer we change to salad to include halved cherry tomatoes (a mix of sungolds and sweet 100’s if possible), bacon, croutons, blue cheese, and a quartered 7 minute boiled egg.


Rancho Gordo Black Bean Tostadas:  Serves 4-6


12 crispy corn tostadas (we fry our own from 4″ tortillas, but can use store bought)

3 cups cooked black beans (We use Rancho Gordo heirloom Midnight beans) 

3 1/2 cups thinly shredded raw cabbage

1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/4 cup picked cilantro
2 Tbs lime juice
2 Tbs canola oil

1/4 crumbled cotija cheese 

1 cup Salsa Verde (recipe below)

2 avocados, sliced


Directions for assembly:

Warm black beans slowly in a pan, stirring occasionally, until they begin to break apart.  You may need to add a few tablespoons of water to keep them from drying out.

Set aside when ready and assemble salad.  In a bowl, combine cabbage, radishes, and cilantro with lime juice, oil and a generous pinch of salt.

Place the tostadas onto a platter, slightly overlapping.  Top generously with the black beans, then sprinkle with the cotija cheese.  

Pile the cabbage salad over the top of each tostadas, then top with a spoonful of the salsa verde.  Lay 2 slices of avocado over the top to garnish.

Salsa Verde:

12 Tomatillos, husks removed.

1-2 serrano chilis (depending on your spice preference), stem removed

1/2 small yellow onion, sliced

1/2 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped

1 Tbs Salt


Process: Place the tomatillos into a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a simmer, occasionally stirring, and cook for 5-8 minutes.  The tomatillos should look lighter in color and be tender when poked.  Carefully drain the tomatillos well and place into a blender (mash 1 or 2 at the bottom to release some juice). Heat a cast iron or heavy bottomed pan (no oil added), and lightly char all sides of the chili and the sliced of onion.  Roughly chop the chili and place along with the onion into the blender.  Add the cilantro and salt and blend until mostly smooth.  Check for seasoning and add more salt if needed.