This recipe came to me in a dream. Just kidding, but I was lying awake at 11:30 the other night and it popped into my head. Apparently I’m always thinking about food, but I think we all knew that anyway. I made a note in my phone with the ingredients and whipped it up the next day…it doesn’t look like much but, yes, it is worth losing some sleep over.
I’d never prepared kale raw before, always choosing to sauté it, bake it, or wilt it in a soup. I mean, you have to massage it…who has time for such things? We all do, actually. It’s delicious, and not time consuming at all. You simply drizzle the greens with a little oil and work them with your hands for a minute or two to soften them. That’s it!
The hearty kale is a nutritious base for crisp, salty bacon, tart cranberries, and a maple walnut vinaigrette that is the perfect balance of sweet and tangy. Whether you warm up the dressing or not, this salad is the perfect side, or main dish, for any winter meal.
Shredded Kale Salad with Maple Walnut Vinaigrette
serves 4 (as a side)
- 4-5 cups shredded kale leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 4 slices crispy bacon, crumbled
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- chopped walnuts, to garnish
for the dressing
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped walnuts
Place the shredded kale in a medium bowl (use your serving bowl to save on dishes) and drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice. Using your hands, massage the kale until tender. Add the bacon, cranberries, and parmesan and toss gently to combine.
For the dressing, combine the olive oil, maple syrup, and vinegar in a small bowl and whisk until fully emulsified. Stir in the chopped walnuts. If you would like to serve the dressing warm, microwave for 15-20 seconds right before you’re ready to eat.
When ready to serve, pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently to coat. Finish it off with a sprinkle of sea salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and some chopped walnuts.