Imperial Kaletroopers

Raw inspiration from Portland
0 Ratings

Even though there's a wood-fired grill on the premises, the chefs behind Portland's recently opened Imperial know how to construct a standout salad. Co-owner and chef Vitaly Paley and executive chef Ben Bettinger serve this shredded kale salad as a prelude to their heartier mains, tailoring the salad to each season. This autumnal version combines thinly sliced kale with paper-thin peels of zucchini and carrots; come winter, the chefs often add fennel, turnips or beets. A quick tumble in tangy goat cheese dressing adds a creamy layer while still keeping it light. Serve the salad as a quick lunch or alongside a favorite oven-roasted main course.

Kale and Raw Vegetable Salad with Goat Cheese Dressing

Recipe adapted from Vitaly Paley and Ben Bettinger, Imperial, Portland, OR

Yield: 4 servings


Goat Cheese Dressing 

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon crumbled goat cheese

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

½ teaspoon finely chopped chives

Salt and freshly ground black pepper



1 large bunch kale--tough stems removed, leaves stacked, rolled and sliced crosswise into thin strips

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 large carrot, peeled and shaved into long ribbons with a vegetable peeler

½ large zucchini, shaved into long ribbons with a vegetable peeler

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup roasted, salted sunflower seeds

¼ cup crumbled goat cheese


1. Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, whisk the mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in the crumbled goat cheese, vinegar, thyme and chives and mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Make the salad: In a large bowl, add the kale, olive oil and lemon juice. Use your hands to massage the oil and juice into the kale for 2 minutes. Add the goat cheese dressing and toss to coat. Add the carrot and zucchini and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the sunflower seeds and the crumbled goat cheese over the salad and serve.

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