This Winter Salad is full of the perfect combination of flavors that will have you making it well into the new year.
The other day I was looking in my refrigerator and noticed some left over kale from our Sausage and Kale Soup that we had earlier in the week.
It was begging to be made into this delicious Winter Salad recipe. It is the perfect gorgeous salad to make to go with your holiday dinner.
I made it as a side for some Stuffed Pork Loin coming later this week. They go perfectly together.
But, this salad recipe is going to be a great one to fall back on come January when I’m questioning all of my life choices. My body will welcome all the fresh ingredients.
WINTER SALAD INGREDIETNS
This is a kale salad with great ingredients that compliment one of my favorite greens.
- pine nuts
- blue cheese crumbles
- pomegranate seeds
- crispy leeks
- citrus dressing
HOW TO PREPARE KALE
To make this salad, I used kitchen sheers to cut the thick stems out of the kale. Then I used them to make quick work of cutting the kale into bite sized pieces.
You can also buy pre cut kale. You run the risk of a lot of stems in it when you do that, so watch out for those pieces and discard them.
In many kale salad recipes, you toss the kale lightly with olive oil and kosher salt and massage it before prepping the salad. If you do that here, go easy on the dressing or simply put it on the side.
I didn’t massage my kale and was very happy with the salad. Easily eating it all myself.
HOW TO MAKE CRISPY LEEKS
Crispy leeks add a nice little smoky flavor to this salad. They are easy to make and great on so many things, like my Hummus Charcuterie Board.
- Trim off the roots.
- Slice the leek in half.
- Cut thin strips.
- Heat vegetable oil in a small frying pan.
- To test if it is ready, add one leek piece. It should begin bubbling right away.
- Fry the leeks in batches, removing them with a slotted fork or spoon to a paper towel lined plate once they begin to lightly brown around the edges.
DRIED CRANBERRIES IN PLACE OF POMEGRANATE SEEDS
If you are having trouble finding fresh pomegranate seeds, you could use dried cranberries in their place.
Though called a Winter Salad, this recipe will be great year round, and you will want to use dried cranberries in the summer and fall.
REPLACING BLUE CHEESE
I love the flavor that blue cheese adds to this salad, but if you have a guest who is adverse to it, it’s easy to substitute.
You could try shaved Parmesan as I did in my Brussel Sprout Salad.
Other great options are Feta or Goat Cheese.
OTHER GREAT HOLIDAY SIDE DISHES
If you are putting out a full spread, here are some other great dishes that would go great with this salad recipe.
If you make this salad recipe or any of my other sides, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!
- 8 cups kale
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup blue cheese
- 1 medium pear sliced
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (or dried cranberries)
- 1 leek sliced thin, one inch into the green and fried (see notes)
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- dash of pepper
- To make the dressing, add all of the dressing ingredients to a small mason jar. Shake to combine.
- Add all of the salad ingredients to a large serving bowl. Start with the kale, then layer on the pear slices, and finally the rest of the ingredients.
- Either add half the salad dressing, and set the rest on the side, or allow guests to dress their own salad.