Quick and easy little kale salad that has some wonderful components and big flavors. The miso vinaigrette is full of flavors and is very refreshing. It stands up and pairs perfectly with the bitterness of the kale, and compliments the sweetness of big juicy scallops. The first flavor that hits your palate is the miso, then it finishes with the amazing sweetness and slight acidity of meyer lemon. The toasted quinoa adds a nutty and crunchy element to the dish.

I used lacinato kale for this salad, which can also be called cavolo nero, Tuscan kale, Italian kale, dinosaur kale, black kale and many others. It’s usually labeled lacianto or dinosaur kale in grocery stores in the US.

This is the first time I have made toasted quinoa, and I will definitely be keeping it on hand to sprinkle over salads and just about everything else I can think of. It’s super easy to make and stores well.

Kale Salad with Miso Vinaigrette and Scallops
Kale Salad with Miso Vinaigrette and Scallops

Kale Salad with Miso Vinaigrette and Scallops

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Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2 servings


  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon white miso paste
  • 3 tablespoons meyer lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon yuzu ponzu
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar honey can be substituted
  • 1 teaspoon shallot finely minced
  • 4 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1 small bunch lacinato kale stems discarded, coarsely chopped
  • 6 diver scallops side muscle removed and thoroughly dried
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil + 1/2 tablespoon butter for frying the scallops


For the Toasted Quinoa

  • Soak the quinoa in a bowl of water for five minutes. Vigorously stir with a whisk to remove the saponin (soap like substance that is on most quiona), then thoroughly rinse in a fine mesh strainer.
  • Add the quinoa and a pinch of kosher salt to a 10″ skillet and place over medium heat, stirring frequently until the water is evaporated. Turn the heat up to medium-high and toast the quinoa until it is golden brown and smells nutty, stirring and shaking frequently. Remove from heat to cool.

For the Vinaigrette

  • Whisk the miso paste, lemon juice, yuzu ponzu, sugar and shallot in a medium bowl until well combined. Slowly pour the oil into the bowl while continually whisking to create an emulsion. Taste and adjust seasoning, lemon juice and sugar.

For the Scallops

  • Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons canola + 1/2 tablespoon butter in a 10″ non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly season the scallops with salt + pepper. When the oil in the pan starts to shimmer, add the scallops and increase the heat to high. Cook for about 3 minutes on the first side (or until golden brown), then turn over for another 1 to 3 minutes (depending on the size of your scallops).

To Serve

  • Dress the kale with the miso vinaigrette and place the scallops on top. Garnish with the toasted quinoa and drizzle a little more vinaigrette on the scallops.

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