November 23, 2014

Pecan Cranberry Kale Salad

Every time I make kale salad for family dinners with the people from my church I always get asked multiple times for the recipe. Kale is one of those things that people want to figure out how eat because it is so healthy, but it has to be prepared well if it is going to be tasty.

I first was introduced to this kind of salad by my aunt when I was visiting her in California last summer. I modified my aunt's recipe to something that would pair well with our recent Thanksgiving themed meal. This is what was left.

The sign that something was a"hit" is an empty bowl when the feeding frenzy is over.

Pecan Cranberry Kale Salad

1 big bunch kale (or 1 big bag pre-washed pre-cut kale)
1 small onion
1/2 - 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 - 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
salt to taste

3/4 cup pecan pieces
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries

This makes a huge salad, so make sure you have enough people to help you eat it or cut the ingredient amounts in half. Because kale is such a hearty green you can make this ahead of time and even leave it in the fridge over night. It makes it even yummier. 

1. Slice onion in thin half circles. Put oil and onion in a small pot on medium-high. Once oil and onion mixture is hot bring temperature down to medium-low or low. Cook this mixture for about 20 minutes while you prepare the rest. This heats the oil and infuses it with flavor and also softens and sweetens the onion.

2. If your kale is not already washed and cut, then rip kale leaves into bite size pieces and discard stems (they are bitter and tough to eat). Then wash and dry your kale, putting it into a big mixing/salad bowl (like I told you, this recipe makes a lot).

3. Put pecans in a skillet on the stove top on medium-high heat to toast them. Stir them occasionally until they look and smell toasty. (this step is optional, but makes the pecans extra yummy)

4. Once oil and onions have been hanging out for about 20 mins, take them off the heat. Add salt (start with 1 tsp and add more if needed as you dress the salad), and balsamic vinegar. This is your dressing.

5. Pour half of dressing, while it is still warm, over the kale. Mix it in with your hands (this helps to soften the toughness). Pour the rest of the dressing over the kale and keep mixing. If your bunch of kale was smaller you might want to leave off some of the dressing.

6. Sprinkle the pecans and cranberries on the top of the kale. Serve and watch it disappear.