Kale Salad with Cranberries, Pecans, and Roasted Apples


I’m drowning. Drowning in recipes and ideas and drooling over too many food photos. I can’t decide what to make for Thanksgiving. I want to make tooooo much.

How about sweet potatoes…..or sweet potato casserole, or sweet potato and chard gratin, or sweet potatoes with bourbon glaze. No…I’ll make a gluten free apple pie, or an apple crisp….or baked apples….or Ack…wait… look at these chocolate-caramel tartlettes.

OK…something green….. like green beans, green beans with miso and almonds, or roasted brussel sprouts, or….. *SNAP* And then my brain just…shuts….down. Stops.

And then I end up thinking…well, hell…I guess I’ll just make a salad.

But this just isn’t any salad, people. It’s a celebration. A Kale Party!  Ya…I know no one thinks of a party when you say “YAY KALE”. Except me. And well, maybe my friend Kathryn.

This kale party in a bowl salad is adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Another winning recipe from this amazing compilation from Deb.  She uses cherries where I used cranberries that I had on hand. I also added roasted apples and toasted pecans for autumnal festiveness. Dig in….

Kale Salad with Cranberries, Pecans, and Roasted Apples

Serves 6 to 8

Kale Salad Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of kale, washed and dried, stalks removed and leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (or cherries)
  • 1/4 cup raw pecans, chopped
  • 1 medium apple, cored and sliced thin

Honey Dijon Dressing Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Place apple slices on half of a roasting pan. On the other side of the pan, place the chopped pecans. Roast for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and stir. Place back in oven for an additional 5 minutes, keeping an eye on the pecans to make sure that they don’t burn. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Meanwhile, place torn kale leaves in a medium to large serving bowl. Sprinkle with a dash of salt and gently massage the kale until it begins to break down a bit.  Add the dried cranberries, toasted pecans, and roasted apples. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. For the honey dijon dressing,  add the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, and honey to a small mason jar with a lid. Shake the jar vigorously.  Drizzle the dressing evenly over the salad.  Toss everything together to coat everything in dressing.  Although you can eat the salad immediately, I let mine rest for at least 20 minutes, allowing the leaves to become even more tender.  This salad is great for make ahead events!
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