If you follow my blog regularly, it might surprise you to see a recipe here for something other than ice cream. But we don’t always eat ice cream and I do plan to share some of our other favorite recipes. This is one of them. Kale salad with maple vinaigrette is an adaptation of several long forgotten recipes I found on the internet. I was going to wait till summer, when I actually have some kale to harvest, but decided to post it now, at the peak of maple sugaring season.
If you make a lot of salads, you’ll appreciate a good salad spinner. After breaking a few cheap ones, we finally went for this sturdy one, which I love: OXO Steel Salad Spinner
You can use any kind of kale for this recipe, but we prefer red Russian. The flavor is mild and the leaves stay fairly tender throughout the season. But more importantly, I find it neater to work with. Curly kale leaves a mess of tiny pieces all over the kitchen table after I chop it up.
It’s great that kale is finally getting the recognition it deserves. What a nutritional powerhouse, rich in vitamins A, C, and K, not to mention phytonutrients. It’s not a vegetable I grew up with, and I began cooking with it only several years ago, when we were growing greens for the rabbits we had at the time. I noticed it did much better in the garden than broccoli or Brussel sprouts, so I began pilfering some leaves from the rabbits’ bed, and adding it to our own meals, first in soups, and eventually in salads and sandwiches. And now, kale and collards have totally replaced broccoli and Brussel sprouts in our garden.
Kale Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
- 1 medium bunch of kale, stems removed (about 3/4 lbs, after stem removal)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 and 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 medium-large sweet apple (golden or red delicious, honeycrisp, etc.), peeled, cored, and diced
- 1/4 cup craisins
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped hickory nuts, pecans, walnuts, or hazelnuts
- Wash kale, spin it dry, slice it thinly and place it in a large salad bowl.
- Whisk together the vinegar, maple syrup, oil, and salt, and toss with kale.
- Refrigerate for several hours so that the kale will soften. You can skip this if your kale is tender, or tender enough for your taste. I usually skip it, but if you are not used to the texture of kale, you might be happier with the salad if you let the kale marinate in the dressing.
- Toss in the remaining ingredients and serve.
How do you use maple syrup? What variety of kale do you prefer? I love hearing from readers, so please feel free to share your thoughts!
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