Getting the menu right for a holiday is all about balance. I try not to, for example, have too many carb-heavy dishes because you don’t want your guests to feel bloated. Plus, I’m really all about the sides. Plus, the sides can be so colorful! I love the sweetness and the crunchieness of this salad paired with the creamy bolognese pasta I’m serving up on Christmas Eve.
Can I let you guys in on a little secret? I don’t like kale. Well, I didn’t. And I was like, “you have to massage your kale? Too much work.” This coming from the girl who goes to 4 grocery stores every weekend just to shop for the week. I mean, really? So anyway, I made this salad, and I massaged the kale, because nobody has time for bitter kale, and I actually apparently really like it!
I like to have a salad that has a lot of toppings, savory and sweet. Every bite is a little surprise and you never get just a mouth full of kale. Maybe that’s why I ended up enjoying this dish?
So I opted for croutons, red onion, dried cranberries, pomegranate seeds (’tis the season to put them on everything), candied pecans and I would serve with a goat cheese or Gorgonzola on the side so folks can decide if they want a cheese on their salad.
Kale Salad with Pomegranates & Candied Pecans
- 1 lb kale washed, chopped into bite size pieces
- 1/4 cup red onion thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup candied pecans
- 1/2 cup croutons
- 1/4 cup goat or gorgonzola cheese optional
- 1/4 cup, plus 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp set aside for kale
- 1/4 cup white wine or balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup dijon mustard
- salt & pepper to taste
- Place kale in a large bowl, and drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil over kale. Massage the kale for 2-3 minutes to take away bitterness.
- Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add cheese if using, or keep aside for guests to add to their own dish.
- In a mason jar or blender, combine olive oil, vinegar and dijon mustard. Blend until combined (or shake until combined). Taste for salt and pepper.
- Add dressing and toss salad, or serve dressing on the side.