The Sea Salt

Southern California Surfing Food

Kale and Dried Cranberry Pasta Salad with Balsamic and Feta


Last week I learned something new in culinary school. Well, I learned a lot of things but this was a cool one.

Did you know that salting the water for cooking pasta isn’t to give it flavor? It is actually to make it so the boiling point of the water returns to a boil faster after you add the pasta.

When I quizzed Miles on this piece of pasta trivia, he actually knew the right answer. Typical Miles. How did he know that and I didn’t? He doesn’t even know how to cook.


This is a perfect pasta for transitioning from Summer to Fall (those of you who have to do that).

The kale is just barely cooked, and the addition of slightly cooked red onions make the dish a little sweeter than the typical pasta salad with raw onions.


Kale and Dried Cranberry Pasta with Balsamic and Feta


*makes a large bowl, enough for 6 lunches, or about 4 dinners.

  • 1/2 box of whole wheat pasta
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 pound kale (stems removed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces) *This is about 6-8 cups chopped. It might look like a lot but it will cook down. 
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup shelled sunflower seeds (I used roasted and salted, but you could go salt free if you wanted)


  1. Cook pasta to al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add EVOO and start to sauté onions. They should start to caramelize after about 3 mins stirring constantly.
  3. Add 1/2 cup water and kale to the pan that has the onions. Depending on how big you pot is, it should be pretty full. Put a lid on it and let steam for a minute or so.
  4. Uncover kale and stir, incorporating onions. Kale should have reduced in size, but continue to saute uncovered for a minute or so more if there are still raw pieces of kale. (You don’t want the kale to lose it’s color, or become too wilted)
  5. Once kale is done, remove from heat.
  6. In a large bowl, combine lemon zest, balsamic and S&P.  Add pasta and stir to combine.
  7. Add slightly cooled kale, cranberries and sunflower seeds.
  8. Set in fridge until cooled, about 1 hour and then add Feta. Stir to combine and enjoy!

Kale and Cranberry Pasta Salad with Balsamic and Feta Kale and Cranberry Pasta Salad with Balsamic and Feta Kale and Cranberry Pasta Salad with Balsamic and Feta



Author: The SEA SALT

Cooking and surfing in Southern California

3 thoughts on “Kale and Dried Cranberry Pasta Salad with Balsamic and Feta

  1. dried cranberries in pasta is something i haven’t seen but think sounds really delicious!

  2. This looks so good! One question — how many cups or leaves is a pound of kale?

    • Good question. I would say like 6-8 chopped, or 10 un-chopped. You can’t really go wrong as long as you don’t add too little. Use whatever fits in your pan. Let me know how it turns out!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s