If you have ever been to North Italia restaurant and you love kale, then I’m sure that you have tried their Tuscan kale salad, I cannot get enough of it. Each bite is crunchy, sweet, and salty. This past holiday season, I decided to research it and try to come as close as I could to the real recipe. I came up with my concoction, and as a matter of fact, I made the salad twice, and my kids were having leftovers for a late-night snack. Here is the recipe, I hope you and your loved ones enjoy it.

for the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • fresh ground pepper

for the salad

  • 6–8 slices French bread or baguette
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1lb fresh lacinato kale stems discarded, very finely chopped
  • 4 ozs pancetta, small-diced
  • 2 granny smith apples, cut into very thin slices
  • 1/4 cup roasted pistachios chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes


  1. Dressing: Place all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake to mix. Taste and adjust as desired.
  2. Breadcrumbs: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping the pieces over halfway through baking. When the bread is very dry and crusty, remove from oven and allow to cool. Break the bread into pieces and place in a food processor. Pulse until crumbs form. Toss the breadcrumbs with the melted butter and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Spread on the baking sheet and bake for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saute pan. Add the pancetta and cook over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, frequently tossing until browned and crisp. Transfer the pancetta with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. 
  4. Cut each grape in half. Heat a pan over high heat, grill the grapes until lightly charred, turning once, about 2 minutes total. 
  5. Salad: Toss the kale, breadcrumbs, pancetta, pistachios, apples, grapes, parmesan, and dressing together. Serve immediately.