Kale Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette
Active Time: 30-35 minutes / Cook Time: 10-12 minutes / Total Time: 30-35 minutes
Makes 4 servings
- 1 lb. kale, any kind (about one large bunch)
- 1 large carrot, julienned or grated (about a cup)
- 1 large apple, halved, cored, and julienned (we used a Honey Crisp for its sweetness and crunch, but use what you like)
- 4 slices bacon (freeze the rest to use in future recipes)
- ½ cup onion, thinly sliced into half-moons (about 1 small)
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup apple cider (optional)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup pinch each of fine sea salt and ground black pepper, plus more for serving
- 2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup toasted chopped pecans*
*To toast nuts and seeds, place them in a dry skillet over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, until they begin to turn golden and give off a nutty smell. Watch them carefully: nuts go from toasted to charcoal in no time flat!
- Thinly slice the kale and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the julienned carrot and apple and toss to combine.
- Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until it is crispy, 6-8 minutes, flipping bacon halfway through. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. When cool enough to handle, crumble the bacon.
- While the bacon cooks, make the dressing: whisk olive oil, apple cider vinegar, apple cider if using, maple syrup, and sea salt and pepper together in a small bowl, or shake to combine in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Refrigerate half of the dressing for Day 4.
- Add the onion to the skillet and cook until the smaller pieces are browned but not burned, and the larger pieces are fully softened, about 4-5 minutes, stirring often.
- Scrape the onions to one side of the pan while you tilt the pan to let the bacon fat run to the other side of the pan. Spoon off and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat.
- Turn off the heat under the skillet, add the remaining vinaigrette to the pan, and whisk to combine with the bacon fat.
- Drizzle this mixture on top of the kale, carrots, and apple. Use tongs to toss, coating everything with the dressing. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if desired.
- Place ¼ of the salad on each of two serving plates and sprinkle each with 1 oz. of goat cheese and 2 tablespoons pecans. Serve.
- Package remaining salad, goat cheese, and pecans in airtight containers for lunch tomorrow. Refrigerate until needed. The salad will stand up to a quick spin (about a minute) in the microwave to rewarm the dressing, if desired.