Kale salad with nouvelle olive oil

kale and silverbeet

Winter greens in the Tansley Farm garden

When winter is in full swing, I crave dark, vitamin-packed kale salads.

And winter is well and truly here. We are tired. It was an amazing harvest season; everything was top-notch. It began in early spring with mountains of gorgeous eggs, then launched into summer with luscious tomatoes, cucumbers and celery; then blackberries and boysenberries, and cherries from Cowlings. There were litres and litres of milk from Gigi and Noëlle, until the cheese cave was overflowing with ageing beauties. Then in autumn, the apples were ready – a tonne from our little orphan trees! Pears went into jars and the freezer, poached and their saffron scented syrup saved for winter cocktails. We dried walnuts in the sun and stored them safely in metal bins in the cellar or shelled in the freezer. And did we mention vintage? A barrel and a half of pinot noir, tasting amazing already, gently ticking away until bottling at the end of the year. Then finally, the olives. It was a stunner of a crop, but after a harvest season like we have had, who would expect anything else?

And so we are tired, and so grateful for the season’s bounty, and so ready for the rest that winter brings.

Summer is for crisp cucumber, sweet tomatoes and delicate lettuce, but winter is fresh carrots, radishes, and mountains of thinly sliced kale, doused with soy sauce, vinegar and lashings of our spicy nouvelle oil.

This simple recipe is from my dear friend Janet over at Ngeringa Vineyards. Janet is one of those women who can do anything. At a beautiful party she threw once, as I was looking around at the magnificently laid tables and the sun setting on the fields behind us and thinking we all looked like we should be in a magazine spread, I overheard someone say half-jokingly, “Bless Janet. Always good for someone to set the bar high for the rest of us.” And being a master chef is just one of her talents.


  • one good-sized bunch of Cavolo Nero (or your personal favourite kale)
  • one small garlic clove
  • 2 T soy sauce, gluten-free is okay
  • 1 T rice wine vinegar (or to taste)
  • 3 T full-flavoured extra-virgin olive oil (our nouvelle oil is perfect!)

Stack the kale leaves and slice very thinly. Place in a bowl and with a garlic press, crush the garlic and toss with the kale. Add soy sauce, vinegar and then the oil and mix well, rubbing the kale between the tossing tongs. Allow to marinate at room temperature for an hour or more.

You can also add colourful julienned carrots and radishes – I do so just before serving.

Great the next day. I often add the leftovers to a tin of cannellini beans with a bit of tomato (paste, passata or chopped) for hearty beans for breakfast.

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