For the last 4 months or so I consistently ate a salad 4-5 days a week for lunch. It was perfect for warmer weather. Fresh greens and crunchy vegetables, many times from our garden, a filling meal that didn’t heat me up. But now that fall has arrived I don’t have too much interest in eating salads. Soups and other healthy comfort foods start to enter my daily diet. I crave warming foods. And even though these meals are loaded with vegetables, they are cooked, and I feel it’s important to include some raw greens. Enter kale salad.
Kale salads are heartier and lend themselves to cool weather toppings.. such as toasted nuts/seeds, dried fruit, pomegranate seeds, and roasted squash. Plenty of ways to get creative! But it’s also nice to keep it simple and serve a kale salad as a side dish. Which is what I did here adding toasted pecans and dried tart cherries. Just enough excitement! For dressing I made my all time favorite for raw kale.. lime juice, stone ground mustard, maple syrup, and olive oil. Typically I use lemon juice but I’m out and limes work just as well!
Don't forget to eat your greens! This kale salad can be made in minutes and is served with a fresh citrus dressing.
For the Salad:
- 1 bunch green curly kale
- 1/3 cup chopped dried tart cherries (unsweetened)
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
For the Dressing:
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- Remove ribs from kale. Wash and dry leaves. Wrap leaves into a bundle and gently roll back and forth on a cutting board (massaging it). Chop the kale while still bundled. Place in a large bowl.
- Toast pecans in a dry pan over medium low heat. Pay attention not to burn! Once they are fragrant and lightly browned remove from pan and let cool.
- In a small jar add the lime juice, mustard, syrup, and olive oil. Season with s&p. Cover jar and shake well to combine. Taste and add more of any ingredient if necessary.
- Add cherries and pecans to kale.
- Pour dressing over the salad and mix well to combine. Serve immediately or store in the fridge until serving.
Kale salad can be made ahead of time. I prefer to make mine 2-3 hours in advance so the kale has a chance to soften a bit more.
If you are serving immediately you can always massage the dressing into the kale with your *clean hands.
Unlike my presentation, kale salads look beautiful when served in a large wooden bowl.