Kale Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

Every time I make kale anything I can just feel the not-so-silent groan from John. I don’t know that he will ever hale the kale, but I’m going to keep trying anyway. I tested this recipe with high hopes, but he didn’t even take a bite daggumit.

However, when Chef Bryan and I made this fresh kale salad for the women in our cooking class, they loved it. I would say kale is more pleasing to women, but Chef Bryan likes it and he’s pretty manly. I think John is just a hater when it comes to the leafy green because this salad is the bomb.

kale salad

I love this kale salad recipe not only because it is packed with antioxidants, vitamin A, fiber, iron and calcium, but because – even dressed – the salad keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days. I’ve topped it with plain roasted chicken and have taken it to work for lunch twice this week.

Chef Bryan tells us it is “a must on any breakfast or lunch plate” and suggests to “serve with a warm cranberry vinaigrette like this version, or with an Asian sesame ginger vinaigrette.”

finished serving of kale salad

He shares a few tips with us, too:

Separate leaves from ribs – hold base of kale right where the leaves start, like you would a pencil, with your thumb and forefinger around rib. Anchor rib with opposite hand and pull in one motion to remove leaves. Alternatively, use a chef’s knife to cut them off. If none of this makes sense to you, just pull the leaves off how you see fit. There’s no right or wrong way.

Chop into bite size pieces – when kale is too big, I’m often left awkwardly tearing pieces hanging out of my mouth mid-chew. Cut it before you toss so it’s more manageable.

chopped kale

Massage kale with fingers – kale is pretty tough, but giving it a little massage with olive oil, salt and pepper until soft and dark green really makes a difference. Squeeze, toss, squeeze, toss, squeeze, toss. It’s fun.

Grate the ginger – you can mince ginger if you don’t have a grater, but grated ginger is so fragrant and it’s easy to do if you have a Microplane or other small grater. Just peel an approximately 1-inch piece of ginger and grate away.

grated ginger

Sweat the shallots – sweating means to cook something over low heat in fat, often in a covered pan. Here we have the heat on medium-low and sweat shallots with or without lid. Chef Bryan says “just don’t touch them” while they sweat. I burned the shiz out of mine when I tried to cook over medium, so I’ll be knocking the heat way down next time.

shallots sweating

Kale Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

{Printable version of recipe available at the end of this post.}

Serves  4

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to be divided
  • 1ea Shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3ea Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp Ginger, grated
  • 1 Cup Craisins {dried cranberries} or Organic Unsweetened Raisins of your choice
  • 2 Tbsp Red Vinegar {rice vinegar for Asian style}
  • 2 Tbsp Agave or Local Honey
  • ½ ea Lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Basil, minced
  • 1-2ea Kale Bunches(depending on number eating), washed, dried, then thinly sliced
  • 1/4 Cup Almonds, sliced
  • To Taste Kosher Salt & Pepper

ingredients

Directions

1. Place kale in a large bowl and sprinkle with a little bit of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil {or more if you have a lot of kale}, then gently massage with your fingertips until soft and dark green and color. Set aside.

massaged kale

2. Heat remaining olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, add shallots, and cover with lid to sweat until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Remove lid and add garlic. {Like I said, I burned this shiz out of mine. They aren’t supposed to look like this. At least we know if you burn it, it still makes good vinaigrette!}

shallots and garlic

3. After 1 minute, add the cranberries, basil, vinegar, agave, lemon juice and zest, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper {start with ¼ teaspoon as reference}.

cooking vinaigrette

4. Toss the vinaigrette in a bowl with the kale, add the almonds, and serve. Enjoy!

vinaigrette on kale

almond on kale

tossed

Kale Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
This kale salad is packed with antioxidants, fiber, iron, and calcium! A must on any breakfast or lunch plate. Serve with a warm cranberry vinaigrette as shown, or with an Asian sesame ginger style dressing of choice.
Author:
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to be divided
  • 1ea Shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3ea Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp Ginger, grated
  • 1 Cup Craisins or Organic Unsweetened Raisins
  • 2 Tbsp Red Vinegar (rice vinegar for Asian style)
  • 2 Tbsp Agave or Local Honey
  • ½ ea Lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Basil, minced
  • 1-2ea Kale Bunches(depending on number eating), washed, dried, then thinly sliced
  • ¼ Cup Almonds, sliced
  • To Taste Kosher Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Place kale in a large bowl and sprinkle with a little bit of salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil {or more if you have a lot of kale}, then gently massage with your fingertips until soft and dark green and color. Set aside.
  2. Heat remaining olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat, add shallots, and cover with lid to sweat until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Remove lid and add garlic.
  3. After 1 minute add the cranberries, basil, vinegar, agave, lemon juice and zest, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper {start with ¼ teaspoon as reference}.
  4. Toss the vinaigrette in a bowl with the kale, add the almonds, and serve. Enjoy!