The problem with stocking up on kale when they have it at the market is that you need to use a mountain of kale. Quickly.
So I promptly got down to making my new favorite salad: Deb’s kale salad with cherries and pecans. I have now made it with walnuts and pecans. I’ve made it with dried cherries, dried cranberries, dried grapes (raisins), and chopped up dates. I’ve made it with smooth Dijon mustard and whole-seed Dijon mustard. I’ve made it with runny honey and solid honey. And it’s always good.
On this occasion, it was the favorite food item of the party (until I unveiled dessert, but that doesn’t really count. You can’t compare kale to a lemon meringue pudding cupcake).
Healthy and crunchy from the kale, sweet and tangy from the vinaigrette, delicious with the pecans, dried fruit, and goat cheese (mmmm, goat cheese), what could be better?
Kale Salad with Cherries and Pecans
From The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
1/2 cup (70 grams) pecans
8 ounces (225 grams) Black Kale, also known as Cavolo Nero or Lacinato, Dinosaur, or Tuscan Kale
4 ounces (115 grams or about 4 medium-large) radishes
1/2 cup (70 grams) dried cherries
2 ounces (55 grams) soft goat cheese, chilled
3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons (23 ml) white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and spread the pecans on a tray. Toast them for 5-10 minutes, tossing them once or twice to make sure they toast evenly. Remove them from the oven, and set them aside to cool.
Wash your kale and let it dry on spread-out kitchen or paper towels. Then, with a knife, remove the rib from each stalk, leaving long strips of kale leaves. Stack the leaves in small batches, roll them tightly the long way, and cut the roll crosswise into thin ribbons. Add the kale ribbons to a large salad bowl.
Thinly slice the radishes, and add them to the bowl. Coarsely chop the pecans and cherries, and add them as well. Crumble the goat cheese over the top. Whisk dressing ingredients together in a small dish, and pour the dressing over the salad. Toss the salad until it is evenly coated with dressing. This salad is great to eat right away, but even better after 20 minutes of tenderizing in the dressing.