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Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad

Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad

Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad. Sometimes a good idea appears out of thin air. Other times it comes from an inspired experience. Recently I ate my very first RAW kale salad. Why had I never eaten kale in it’s natural state before? I have no idea. I guess tradition is the culprit.

Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad

Nutrient rich kale is a veggie I’ve cooked many times. I’ve steamed, stewed, even baked kale, but never eaten it raw.

Until last week that is, when I had lunch with a friend and we both ordered our meal with a side of kale salad. I had no preconceived notion of what to expect. When my plate arrived, it was piled with ribbons of shredded greens.

Although the salad I ordered was mediocre, the IDEA was  brilliant. Raw kale was definitely something I would have to play with at home.

Now, I try to be a good southern girl… often with little success.  Growing up in a straight-forward Midwestern family, “genteel” and “prim” took second fiddle to “hard work”  and “direct honesty.” I’m ok with that. Yet now that I live in the South, I strive to achieve Southern greatness in the kitchen, even if I’ll never achieve it in manner.

So when it came time to experiment with raw greens, I went with subtle Southern flair. What’s more Southern than ham, cornbread and greens?

Easy Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad

This is how I did it: I shaved (sliced) the kale into ultra thin ribbons.

Making Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad

I rubbed ham steaks with brown sugar, cumin and coriander to give them a smoky kick. Then grilled them for a couple minutes per side.

Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad

Next I toasted crumbled cornbread and roughly chopped almonds to provide contrast for the kale.

How to Make Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad

Finally I dressed the salad with a bright citrus vinaigrette made with orange zest, orange juice, honey, chive and almond oil.

Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale SaladWith Orange Vinaigrette

The verdict? Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad is YUM. Double yum. Yum with a southern twist, Ya’ll. Salty, sweet, crunchy, zesty plate of Kale-icious yum! *smile*

Raw kale is a winner. You’ve got to try this at home.

Cook’s Notes:

  • Don’t salt the ham. It tends to be salty enough on it’s own.
  • Ham steaks are also precooked, so the grilling is simply for texture and appearance–don’t over do it!
  • I used whole raw almonds in the kale salad and roughly chopped them, but you could substitute slivered almonds.
  • I ADORE almond oil, but any mild flavored oil will work for the vinaigrette.
  • I used store-bought corn muffins for the salad.
  • Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad

    Yield: 4-6 servings

    Prep Time: 20 minutes

    Cook Time: 12 minutes


    For the Ham:

    • ¼ cup brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon cumin
    • 1 ½ tablespoons coriander
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • 4-6 thick cut ham steaks

    For the Southern Kale Salad:

    • 1 large bunch of kale
    • 2 corn muffins or cornbread squares, crumbled into large chunks
    • ¾ cup roughly chopped almonds
    • 2 tablespoons butter

    For the Dressing:

    • 1 orange, zested and juiced
    • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
    • ¼ cup almond oil (or veg. oil)
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped chive
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper


    1. Preheat the grill to medium and preheat a large skillet to medium-high.
    2. Mix the brown sugar, cumin, coriander and pepper. In a small bowl, rub the mixture on both sides of each ham steak. Set aside.
    3. Shred the kale into (very) thin strips. Place the kale in a large serving bowl.
    4. Place the ham steaks on the grill for about 3 minutes per side—or just until grill marks form. Remove and tent with foil to keep warm.
    5. Meanwhile, add the butter to the skillet. Pour in the crumbled cornbread and chopped almonds. Gently move around the pan until toasted—5 minutes.
    6. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together for the vinaigrette. Toss the kale with your desired amount of vinaigrette. Then top with the toasted cornbread and almonds. Best if served immediately.

    Making this recipe? Why not take a quick shot and share it on Instagram! Make sure to tag it #ASpicyPerspective so we can see what you're cooking!

Spiced Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad

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49 Responses to “Grilled Ham Steaks with Southern Kale Salad”

  1. 5 Star Foodieposted April 14, 2011 at 6:03 am

    Very interesting to experiment with raw kale, grilled ham steaks sound awesome to pair with the salad.


  2. Nisrine M.posted April 14, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Gorgeous photos. Make me wish I were there for this meal.


  3. Jo-Lynne {Musings of a Housewife}posted April 14, 2011 at 6:05 am

    That looks DIVINE!


  4. Lana @ Never Enough Thymeposted April 14, 2011 at 6:15 am

    I’ve never eaten kale raw, either, but why not! Sounds like a delicious salad.


  5. Jasonposted April 14, 2011 at 6:37 am

    Those ham steaks and kale salad look absolutely delicious. People definitely do not do enough Ham steaks and they do really well on the grill.


  6. Kateposted April 14, 2011 at 6:42 am

    This looks delicious! I don’t even like kale and your photos make me think that mayvbe I really do like it or should at least give it another try!


  7. Danposted April 14, 2011 at 6:44 am

    That looks like a great rub for the ham. mmm!


  8. Kellyposted April 14, 2011 at 6:45 am

    This looks delicious and I absolutely LOVE your blog!! I will definitely be a frequent visitor :)


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  10. melissa@IWasBornToCookposted April 14, 2011 at 7:10 am

    This looks fantastic!


  11. pamposted April 14, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Raw kale!!! Genius!


  12. Kristenposted April 14, 2011 at 7:26 am

    It’s a beautiful meal. Is raw kale bitter? I love the idea of using it as a new green in a salad, but my iceberg loving family may have issues if it’s really strong.


  13. Fresh and Foodieposted April 14, 2011 at 8:28 am

    This salad looks great. I love kale and eat it raw pretty often, but I’ve also had it semi-raw (I guess that’s what you’d call it) where it’s blanched for a second to take some of that hearty edge off. I happen to like kale for that reason, but I can see why others may not.

    Really like this recipe. Thanks for sharing.


  14. Jennifurlaposted April 14, 2011 at 9:39 am

    Looks like a kick butt meal to me overall, we dont eat enough ham in my house.


  15. Belinda @zomppaposted April 14, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Beautiful meal! Kale is fantastic…and I am hard pressed to ever pass on a ham steak.


  16. Cécyposted April 14, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Yum, this looks great.
    I haven’t made a kale salad yet, but I do use some raw one straight from the garden into a smoothie. Or an other favorite for breakfast is toasted bread, egg, goat cheese and a leaf of raw kale.

    I think I’m going to try your salad this week-end, we have a bunch of kale in the yard, now on to making cornbread.


  17. Tricia @ Saving room for dessertposted April 14, 2011 at 10:11 am

    This is wonderfully inspired! The orange flavor must be fantastic on Kale. I’ve eaten it raw but bet it is great served with all your fixin’s. Great creation!


  18. Sprinkled With Flourposted April 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Now I really want some ham. I love finding new ways to fix favorite cuts of meat, and this is a great one to try!


  19. Parsley Sageposted April 14, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Kale-icious indeed. This looks stunningly yummy. Thanks for doing the legwork on this :)


  20. Maris (In Good Taste)posted April 14, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    What fabulous photos! Everything looks so good!


  21. Annaposted April 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    I love kale salad, we eat kale or collar greens raw in Brazil. Your dish looks fabulous, corn bread and ham….what great combo.


  22. Nelly Rodriguezposted April 14, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    I’ve never had raw Kale and I don’t think you can find it here, but I will try it someday! By the way, your pictures are simply gorgeous.


  23. Claudiaposted April 14, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    I love kale salads – but no one else here does. Maybe with that delicious dressing? The spiced ham steaks are perfect! Lovely change from mine.


  24. Kitaposted April 14, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    My momma used to make ham steaks for us. They always bring back memories. I love kale – love. I have got to try this.


  25. Aldyposted April 14, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    What a MOUTH-WATERING dish ! Great combination, Sommer :)



  26. Angie's Recipesposted April 15, 2011 at 2:00 am

    This is something I would love to try too.
    Photos are simply mouthwatering!


  27. Ilkeposted April 15, 2011 at 5:22 am

    I think this is good, healthy dose of southernness!(is this a word?) now I will head over to rk page to vote. Go Asheville Team!


  28. Lizposted April 15, 2011 at 5:37 am

    Gosh, I never would have thought to eat kale raw, either…glad you have this wonderful recipe to share :)


  29. Emily @Cleanlinessposted April 15, 2011 at 7:16 am

    This is beautiful. I love this recipe.


  30. Geniposted April 15, 2011 at 7:30 am

    I’ve never had raw kale before…only cooked it in the skillet or baked it. You’ve convinced me to try it raw with your delicious looking salad! And the ham steaks looks pretty delicious as well!


  31. carolinaheartstringsposted April 15, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Wow is all I can say. You did good Midwestern/Southern girl!


  32. soniaposted April 15, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Hi Sommer, This is looking absolutely delightful. Very nicely made and presented. I wud love to give it a shot on the coming weekend… Have a great day !


  33. Maria @ Scandifoodieposted April 15, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I actually really like raw kale! This sounds so tasty with almonds and almond oil!


  34. sweetlifeposted April 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    my hubby loves ham steak, but I should try raw kale..thanks for sharing!!



  35. Lora @cakeduchessposted April 15, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    Gorgeous Southern meal, Sommer:) That ham has gotten me hungry and craving a piece. I never ate raw kale. I always add it my bean soups or in a pasta dish. Thank you for sharing delicious recipe:)


  36. Kankanaposted April 15, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    you got me convinced .. I have to make this kale salad… :)


  37. Lea Annposted April 16, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    well…..alright, I’ll give raw kale a try. :-) Now for that ham steak, I’ll give you a definite yum double yum


  38. Eileenposted April 17, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    I love grilled ham steak. Now, the raw kale is a different story. It’s more the rough texture I don’t care for than the flavor. I have texture issues – lol… I love the grace and charm associated with the South. I’m afraid to admit I don’t have much of either :)


  39. soniaposted April 17, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Hi Soma, The salad is looking so vibrant. Very nicely made and presented. Its always fun to see ur appetizing recipes. I wud love to give ur version a try on the coming weekend. Have a great day !


  40. soniaposted April 17, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Hi Sommer,
    Oops dear, by mistake wrote incorrect name, my due apologies to you…regards, MCF !!!


  41. Monetposted April 17, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    My oh my! What we’ve been missing! Ryan loves to eat raw greens, but I don’t think we’ve tried kale yet. I love how thin you sliced it…I think that made all the difference. Thank you for sharing another beautifully rendered post, my sweet friend. You know how to get my week off to a great start. I hope your week bursts forth with flavor and love. Hugs from Austin!


  42. elle marieposted April 18, 2011 at 4:19 am

    My kind of women!!! Kale, southern style, is hands-down-the-best ever! I have been away from the US for quite a long time, and can you clue me in on what ham steak is? I know what it is, but not sure how to go about asking what piece the butcher should prepare for me?


  43. Cécyposted April 18, 2011 at 10:55 am

    So I ended up using this. I made a Kale salad with slices oranges, dried cranberries, maple-sugar roasted pecans and goat cheese plus your dressing. It was great.
    I used the dressing again for a similar salad but with spinach this time for a friend who just had a baby and she really loved it. The maple syrup replaced the honey quite well too.


  44. Monicaposted April 19, 2011 at 9:55 am

    Sounds great! But one suggestion. To complete the “Southernness,” I would have used pecans instead of almonds. You know we Southerners love our Pee-CANS. :-) I look forward to trying a raw kale salad myself!


  45. Magic of Spiceposted April 21, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Perfect southern meal…I have never tried raw kale either, sounds wonderful :)


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  47. plasterer bristolposted September 21, 2015 at 10:53 am

    This sounds really delicious and something new to try. Thank you for sharing this.



  48. plasterer bristolposted September 21, 2015 at 10:54 am

    This sounds really delicious and something new to try. Thank you for sharing this.



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