Kale. Seriously can’t get enough of it. Ben can’t either. No complaints here.
Normally, our kale is cooked–in pasta, fried rice, or as a base for chicken or pork. But this time, I decided to do something different and make a chopped kale salad. That’s right… raw kale, chopped into a billion teeny tiny bites and tossed with a fabulous array of toppings and the most spectacular dressing ever. Intrigued?
What makes this salad special and different is ALL the tastes and textures going on. Crisp carrots, sweet apples, salty bacon, pungent bleu cheese, tart cranberries, crunchy toasted almonds. And a sweet peanut butter-maple vinaigrette that is nothing short of amazing. I was literally eating it with a spoon, for goodness sake! It has a peanut butter base, so that’s totally legit, right?
By the way, if you aren’t the biggest fan of bleu cheese, don’t let this scare you. There’s only enough to give a hint of the flavor, but if you like it you can always substitute feta or parmesan. I don’t always include cheese in my salads but it really works in this one, to make it more substantial. Just FYI.
I threw this recipe together quickly on a busy night when we were headed to a small group dinner, and it was all but polished off. Fortunately, there was enough leftovers to enjoy for lunch the next day, but the salad definitely got a little soggy on day 2 so I would recommend adding the dressing just before serving if at all possible. I only made this a couple weeks ago and am totally craving it now, as I write this at 10:27 pm. I have a feeling this salad is going to become a regular in our house and I hope it will in yours too! Enjoy!
So you tell me… have you ever had a kale salad before? What are your go-to [kale] salad mix-ins?
- 1 1/2 bunches kale
- 1 1/3 cups red cabbage
- 1 large carrot
- 1 large Fuji apple
- 3 ounces bleu cheese, crumbled
- 5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1/2 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
Wash and dry kale, then tear into small bite-size pieces, discarding thick stems. Add to a large bowl and set aside.
Wash and dry cabbage, carrot, and apple, then shred. I used my food processor but a grater would also work. Add to kale, along with bleu cheese, bacon, almonds, and cranberries.
Whisk together balsamic, olive oil, maple syrup, and peanut butter until smooth to make dressing, then drizzle half over the salad. Toss to combine, and add more dressing as desired. I used about 3/4 of the total dressing made. Season with black pepper to taste, and serve immediately.
Time: 20 minutes.
Yield: 10-12 side salads, 3-4 meal size salads.
Linked up with: Tuesday Talent Show.