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It’s the beginning of January, so for a lot of people, that means getting back “on track” with food. I’m usually on the “everything in moderation” team when it comes to food, but in December, I’m on the “eat everything all the time” team. #NoRegrets! Stuffing my face with a bunch of toffee with dark chocolate & honey roasted peanuts over the Christmas holiday was GREAT, but it’s time for me to return to my regular eating habits. Enter: this delicious white bean & kale salad! It’s got veggies, protein, and yummy salty toppings, alllll tossed in a garlic-rosemary infused vinaigrette. It’s a very cozy salad, perfect for winter.
I like using kale as a base to my big salads because the leftovers actually keep! It won’t get slimy or soggy like spinach or lettuce. Also, kale is great for you, so there’s that too. This salad also has tender roasted broccoli for extra greens & heartiness. The proteins in this salad are TWO cans of buttery white beans and a smattering of crispy prosciutto. Everything is better with cheese, so we sprinkle it with parm and toss the whole thing with a super flavorful dressing.
More Salad Deets
Ok let’s get into it. How do we make this gorgeous white bean & kale salad? First, we’ll roast a head or two of broccoli with salt, pepper, & garlic powder. We want it to be tender but a lil crispy on the edges. Yum. While the broc is roasting, we’ll crisp up some prosciutto (or speck, or bacon), set it aside, then use that same pan to create our infused oil.
Over medium heat, we add olive oil, thinly sliced garlic, and fresh rosemary for just a minute or two. It smells amazing. Garlic begins to brown and rosemary “frizzles”—both of them will turn into crispy little flavor pops. Transfer the oil & crispy guys to a jar or bowl. It’ll keep cooking in the hot oil so we do this on the conservative side, when just a few of the pieces of garlic are starting to look toasty. Add red pepper flakes—the heat from the oil will make them bloooom! I really like to use a mason jar with a lid for this because we’re going to finish our dressing in a bit, and shaking a jar is a WAY easier method to emulsify than a whisk. But that’s just me! A bowl and whisk (or even a fork) will work just fine. We’ll let the oil cool down a bit while we get the rest of our salad ready.
In a large bowl or container (I like to use a biiiig lidded container so I can shake up the salad easily; see “Tools..” below for the one I use), add kale, rinsed beans, crispy prosciutto, roasted broccoli, and grated parmesan. Almost there, all that’s left is the vinaigrette! Juice half of a lemon into the jar/bowl and add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Shake that baby up (or whisk it), taste to see if it needs more lemon or balsamic, and pour over the salad. Season the whole thing with salt & pepper to taste, and enjoy!!
Tools I Used to Make White Bean & Kale Salad
- Salad Spinner: I’m one of those people who’s paranoid about dirt and bugs and germs, so I love having a convenient way to wash my greens. I usually strip kale off of its stem and then tear the pieces right into the spinner so it’s ready to go after it’s washed.
- Mesh Strainer: So perfect for rinsing beans and other little things like rice, quinoa, or berries!
- Frying Pan: Doiiii, ya need one of these to crisp up the prosciutto and make the infused garlic/rosemary oil!
- Rimmed Baking Sheet: I prefer rimmed baking sheets because I can toss the ingredients right on the sheet without them tumbling off.
- Garlic Peeler: I wax poetic about my garlic peeler in this #HighlyRecommend post, I consider it a must-have, especially in recipes like this!
- Citrus Juicer: This baby makes it easy to juice lemons and catch the seeds. I just give it a quick rinse when I’m done.
- Small Mason Jar: I always make my dressings in a mason jar. I find that shaking the jar emulsifies oil + vinegar better and faster than whisking aaaand it’s easier on your arm! Plus, you can either keep the dressing in the jar if you’re not using it all, or just throw it in the dishwasher. Less things to hand-wash for me, please!
- Big container: yessss! This is THE BEST container for stuff like this! Tossing a salad in a bowl is like one of the hardest things ever unless it’s a gigantic bowl. That’s why I love using a big container… I just put all the ingredients in, close the lid, and go to town shaking it up. Again, no mess to clean up when you’re done. Just store the salad in there!
- Parmesan grater: I loooove having this rotary cheese grater handy. I just keep it in a big ziplock bag in the fridge with my big chunk o’ parm. Fresh parmesan, ALWAYS! I’m not a huge fan of the pre-grated stuff. I feel like fresh parm tastes better and melts better if you’re using it for a hot recipe. Also you can pretend that you’re at a fancy Italian restaurant when you eat pasta and you can be like “Fresh parmesan, sir?” to your partner and they will think it’s funny, at least if your partner has a… simple sense of humor like mine.
Let me know what you think of this recipe!! I hope you like it!Print
This salad features kale as the base (leftovers don’t get soggy!) and creamy white beans as protein. Roasted broccoli, crispy prosciutto & parmesan are added for extra yums, and it’s all tossed with a tasty garlic-rosemary vinaigrette.
- 2 medium or 1 large head of broccoli, chopped into bite-size florets
- oil, salt, & pepper (I recommend avocado oil for high heat roasting but other oils will be fine)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 large bunches flat kale (or 1 bunch curly), washed & ripped/chopped into bite-size pieces
- 2 cans Navy or Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 3 oz prosciutto, speck, or bacon
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Garlic Rosemary Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 heaping tbsp fresh rosemary (3 sprigs), roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Preheat oven to 400°.
- Toss broccoli in a couple glugs of oil, generous sprinkles of salt & pepper (measure with your heart) and ½ tsp garlic powder. Roast broccoli for 20–30 minutes, until florets are lightly browned and thicker stalks are tender.
- Meanwhile, tear prosciutto/speck into smaller pieces and crisp them up in a frying pan for a minute or 2 on medium heat, set aside. If you’re using bacon, cook bacon on medium-low heat until crisp to your liking. Drain all grease & cut bacon into bite-size chunks, set aside.
- Add ¼ cup olive oil to the pan and heat on medium-low heat until oil shimmers. Add sliced garlic & rosemary and cook until garlic is just beginning to look toasty, 1–2 minutes. It will continue to cook in the jar so be conservative here. Transfer to a glass jar or bowl (you’ll whisk dressing here) and add ½ tsp red pepper flakes. Let cool.
- While waiting for your infused oil to cool, toss kale, 2 cans rinsed beans, roasted broccoli, 1 cup parmesan, and crispy meat together in a large bowl or container.
- Add juice from ½ lemon and 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar to infused oil jar/bowl and shake/whisk until emulsified. Taste and add more lemon or balsamic as needed.
- Pour dressing over the salad, toss, and season to taste with salt & pepper. Enjoy!
- This salad is relatively bean-heavy with 2 cans of beans. If you’re not that into beans, you might want to start with 1 can and see how that tastes to you.
Keywords: kale, healthy, beans, protein, crispy, prosciutto, parmesan