Dana Slatkin

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette (adapted from Porta Via)

Kale Quinoa SaladLast month, I taught a class with Peter Garland, owner of Porta Via here in Beverly Hills. If you have never heard of the restaurant, it’s probably because Peter likes it that way. Because he knows that if word got out on this darling neighborhood canteen, it might cease to feel like home to his adoring clientele.

Porta Via serves the kind of farmers market-inspired dishes that you would make yourself if you had the time. Seasonal salads, vegan soups, simply grilled fish and Double Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies have made Peter one of the most popular restaurateurs in town (of course, it hasn’t hurt that he is charming, handsome, and single).


This beautifully balanced salad is a perfect sampling of Porta Via’s fare. It’s packed with flavors, textures, and nutrients. It’s satisfying to the point of bliss. And it leaves you with plenty of room for dessert. Maybe that’s why I can’t seem to get enough of it.

At the restaurant, the salad is topped with grilled onion and fried leeks, two steps you may want to skip to save time. In my version, toasted pine nuts add crunch, while dried cranberries give a delightful sweet touch. Diced avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, grilled corn and garbanzos highlight the homespun. However you toss it, it’s a salad for a celebration, Father’s Day, or any day.

Now, about those Double Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies? Write to me and I’ll send you the recipe. You can thank Peter yourself.

All the recipes from my class, Light and Healthy Italian with Porta Via, are now available for purchase! E-mail me a request and I’ll send you the details. The cost is $9.99 for 6 recipes. Here is the menu:

Summertime Peach Bellinis — Easy SoCal Gazpacho — Kale Quinoa Salad — Kamut Pasta with Pea Pesto — Grilled Salmon with Fresh Corn and Leek Relish — Double Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

Looking for more tasty ways to make kale? Try my Crispy Parmesan Kale Chips and Vegan Kale Pesto.

Here are some more salads that pack a punch:

Enter the Summer Cooking Contest for a chance to win some nifty Farmgirl kitchen swag!

Photo credit: Mountain Mama Cooks

This post may contain affiliate links. Though all content is unsponsored, some items mentioned editorially may have been provided at no charge to the author.

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  1. Genevieve Gladysz says:

    I love the variety of flavors and textures in this recipe! And so healthy…this is on my list of recipes to try this summer!

  2. Audrey Lynn says:

    This is the best summer salad I have tried! I love adding avocado to add another texture, creamy!

  3. Massie says:

    It looks delicious! How many servings does it make?

  4. Massie says:

    Oops I see it now. Thank you for the marvelious recipe!

  5. Dana Slatkin says:

    You’re welcome. Hope you like it. Keep in touch!


  6. Helen Doyle says:

    This is the BEST, we make it all the time
    My family LOVES it.

    Thanks you.

Please share your thoughts!