This is a great fall salad, a combination of fresh crisp apples, kale, goat cheese and bacon, topped with a cinnamon-balsamic vinaigrette.
While continuing the apple theme this month it occurred to me apples might go well with kale. And they do! It works! We’ve been on a kale salad kick for some time now with the kale crunch salad that never disappoints. I wanted to try some new combinations of flavors and here it is.
I’m glad to report that this apple and kale salad was a big hit, Jeff described it as almost dessert like, how about that for a salad! So this might be a good option for getting your kids to eat kale.
I recommend chopping the kale small, even if you buy a pre-cut bag of kale give it a few more chops, I think it tastes better when it’s more integrated with all the other flavors. And as you probably know kale is pretty fibrous so it works better in small bites.
The dressing is from the Grilled Fig Salad recipe I posted a while back and it works really well. But this time I used Muscovado sugar rather than dark brown, they’re very similar but the Muscovado has a bit of molasses taste, so if you’re a fan of molasses like me you will certainly appreciate this sugar.
Apple + Kale Salad
- 1 pink lady apple, diced
- 4 cups of kale, chopped small
- 2 strips of thick cut bacon, cooked until crispy*
- 1/3 cup goat cheese (or feta) crumbled
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Muscovado sugar (or dark brown sugar)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon Muscodavo sugar (or brown sugar)
To make the Pecans
Melt butter in skillet over medium heat, add pecans and toss to coat, add sugar and combine well, continue to stir until caramelized , about 1-2 minutes, careful not to burn, remove from heat and allow to cool on parchment paper.
To make the Cinnamon-Balsamic Vinaigrette
Whisk together vinegar, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice and Dijon mustard until well combined, slowly add olive oil while continuing to whisk until incorporated.
To make the salad
Place diced apples in bowl with juice of 1 lemon and add enough water to cover apples. Let sit. Combine chopped kale, chopped bacon, cheese, and pecans, add apples and toss with vinaigrette.
*I’m a big fan of baking bacon, place bacon strips in a deep rimmed baking dish, place in cold over, turn oven on to 375° and bake for 30-40 minutes until well done, time will vary by thickness of bacon