Kale Salad with Spring Garlic and Meyer Lemon Mayo Dressing

Recipe by Chef Mario Hernandez 


  • 1 bunch of Cavolo Nero (Dino Kale), leaves removed from stem and set aside. Chop the stems into ¼ inch bite size pieces and blanch them in salted water until tender and completely dried. (Completely drying the leaves and stems will allow the dressing to properly adhere to the salad)

  • ¼ cup of fried bread crumbs (we always use leftover bread for this)
  • Parmigiano Reggiano to taste
  • ¼ cup of capers, washed, completely dried and minced
  • 1 sprig of spring garlic, minced and macerated in lemon juice for 5 minutes
  • 2 heaping spoonfuls of quality mayonnaise (feel free to make your own! We have a toddler and wanted to avoid raw eggs, although we always use pastured eggs)
  • Meyer lemon juice to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • A splash of water to thin out the dressing (feel free to use wine if you’d like)


In a medium mixing bowl, mix the macerated spring garlic, the minced capers, mayonnaise, Meyer lemon juice, salt and black pepper, until it is fully incorporated.

In a larger mixing bowl, place the cavolo nero leaves, and stems. Add the salt and pepper directly to the kale and mix with your clean hands. Add the dressing to the bowl and continue mixing using your hands until all the leaves are well coated with the dressing. Taste and correct for seasoning. On a large plate, top with bread crumbs and grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

Serves: 2 (or 1 hungry farmer)

Mario is a Bay Area based chef who specializes in creating recipes using seasonal produce straight from the farms. He not only enjoys creating delicious dishes, but also has a knack for  teaching others how to cook. Mario is the founder of The Order of the Fat Tongue - a collective of farmers, artists, chefs and musicians who support each other and their art. You can find them on Instagram and Facebook.



Two Easy Spring Salads

Spring Salad with white beans


We were gifted an Instant Pot pressure cooker for christmas from my aunt, and it has radically changed the way we cook and eat (cooking dried beans in less than 40 minutes - hell yeah!). We eat a lot of different beans and grains (cooking them in no time), and I've been working on finding new ways to incorporate them into our meals - seeing how we have thousands of little gem heads and radishes in the field right now, salads are on the mind and on the menu.

Adding beans to a salad, helps to plump it up and make it more filling. The soft texture of the beans plays well with the crunchiness of the lettuce and radishes, and a quick mason jar dressing ties it all together.

I spend a few hours a week prepping veggies, shredding beets or carrots with a cheese grater or slicing radishes or turnips and storing them in a jar, chopping lettuce or other greens wrapping them in paper towels and placing them in a ziplock bag, roasting potatoes or other seasonal crops and storing them in a glass pyrex bowl with a lid, cooking beans or grains like quinoa, so that we have things on hand that we can just throw together for a quick meal. With that prep, this salad can be ready in no time at all.


  • 3 little gem lettuce heads, washed and chopped into strips
  • 1 bunch radishes, washed and sliced into thin coins.  
  • 1-2 cups cannellini beans, cooked and cooled.
  • Spring onion tops or scallions, chopped fine.
  • (sometimes I add an avocado If Im craving that good fat)



  • Mason Jar
  • ¼ spring onion bulb, chopped fine.
  • Equal parts champagne vinegar and good quality olive oil.
  • Spoonful of dijon mustard, spoonful agave or honey.


Add ingredients to a half pint mason jar, screw lid on tight and shake it up until ingredients are combined.


Combine in a large bowl, add as many beans as you’d like (starting with less because you can always add more), pour dressing on before serving and toss to coat evenly. Salt and pepper to taste, enjoy.


Spring Salad with Butter lettuce & Creamy Green Dressing



  • 2 heads butter lettuce 
  • ½ bunch radishes sliced into coins
  • 1 avocado cut into cubes 
  • handful sunflower seeds 
  • (to make more filling you can add cooked quinoa, and if you're lactose tolerant you could add some cheese)

Combine ingredients in a bowl, set aside and make dressing. 

Dressing (Inspired by the green goddess dressing, and super easy to make.)

  • Immersion blender, though you could use a food processor/blender.
  • Handful of herbs (green garlic, scallions, parsley, cilantro, basil, whatever you have on hand)
  • 2 spoonfuls of mayonnaise (we use the vegan friendly  and non GMO "Just Mayo" by Hampton Creek)
  • half spoonful of dijon mustard
  • half spoonful agave or honey
  •  pinch of salt
  • 2-3 second pour of apple cider vinegar. 
  • Then slowly add some olive oil, we start with a 4-5 second pour

Add everything but the oil to a pint or quart jar (alternatively if you're using a food processor, add ingredients there) and blend together. With the immersion blender or food processor running start to add oil, drizzling a little in at a time (start with a small pour because you can always add more),  add more depending on how thick or runny you want the dressing, because ultimately this is for you.

Pour dressing on before serving and toss to coat evenly. Salt and pepper to taste, enjoy.