Kale Bell Pepper Salad with Manchego and Piquillio Pepper Pesto

I absolutely love the flavors and crunchiness of this salad; it is out of control delicious!  It would make a perfect side dish to any Mediterranean inspired meal but it is also great as a meal all in itself!


I get so inspired by the colors of vegetable and the combination of them together.  It is important to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet.  They provide a variety of vitamins and minerals for the health of your body.

 Red is rich in the antioxidants lycopene and anthocyanins.  Orange and yellow are rich in beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A.  Green is good for your eyes, bones and teeth.  Blue and purple contains anthocyanin a natural plant pigments with powerful antioxidant properties and they also contain flavonoids and ellagic acid.  White is high in dietary fiber, helping to protect you from high cholesterol, and antioxidant-rich flavonoids, such as quercetin.


This salad pairs well with most dry white wines like a Spanish White Rioja or a Sauvignon Blanc.  For a red I like it with a nice Pinot Noir or even a Rosé.

Kale-Bell-Pepper-Salad-with-Piquillo-Pepper-Pesto Recipe: 2 – 4 Servings


  • 1/2 Cup Piquillio Pepper Pesto or to taste
  • 1 Cup or more Toasted Almonds – roughly chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Champagne Vinegar
  • 1 Clove Garlic – minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Hot Paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
  • Dash Black Pepper
  • 1 Head Kale – thinly chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper – diced
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper – diced
  • 1/2 Cup Red Cabbage – minced
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Basil – minced
  • 3/4 Cup Manchego Cheese – finely shredded


 Make pesto (you can make a half batch or make a whole batch and use the extra pesto on toasted French bread alongside the salad!)

Toast almonds – spread out on a cookie sheet bake for 20 minutes on the middle shelf on 350 degrees F. Let cool then roughly chop.

In a bowl, mix together the pesto, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, salt and pepper and set aside.

Wash kale and tear off main rib by holding the end of the stem and sliding the leaves off, then chop into thin strips.

Put kale in a large bowl with olive oil and massage oil into kale.

Mix dressing into kale then add bell peppers, cabbage, basil and cheese, mix well.

*Top with almonds just before eating otherwise they will get soft

Health benefits:

Kale is low in calories, high in fiber and it is a loaded with antioxidants which helps detox the liver. It is also an anti-inflammatory with omega-3 fatty acids, which is helpful for arthritis, joint pain and asthma.  Kale has more Iron than beef and more calcium than milk which helps prevents osteoporosis, joint flexibility and helps maintain normal bone health. It is great for cardiovascular support that helps in lowering cholesterol.  It is really high in vitamin A, C, and super high in the powerful antioxidant vitamin K (anyone taking anticoagulants should avoid kale because the high level of vitamin K that may interfere with the drugs.)    More on kale 

 Bell Peppers are super high in vitamin A which helps to support healthy eyesight, especially night vision and are extremely high in vitamin C, so much so they have twice as much as an orange which makes it really good for the skin.  Red peppers are one of the highest veggies in lycopene, and have been successfully tested in the prevention of many cancers.  They have a good source of the antioxidant mineral manganese and B-complex and vitamin E.  They help reduces ‘bad’ cholesterol, helps controls diabetes and helps reduce pain.  They are also a good source of fiber, folate, vitamin K, molybdenum and manganese.


    • wavatarSTEPH says

      Thank you so much Caitlin!!! Piquillo peppers are one of my favorite for sure! Try them stuffed with chèvre cheese along side a salad, soooo good!!!

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