Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fall Kale Salad for Thanksgiving

I'll be on the television show, Better KC, on KCTV 5 November 2, at 9 am making this easy, healthy Thanksgiving salad with seasonal fruits and kale. You can find me the next day at The Kansas City Store, Kansas City Store on the Plaza, 314 Ward Parkway, KCMO 64112, Saturday, Nov. 3rd, doing a book signing from 1:30-3:30.

Fall Kale Salad

Seasonal, local, fall flavors like pears, apples and cranberries lend themselves so well to those traditional rich, savory dishes and sauces, and desserts. However, they also taste great in lighter dishes — dishes you can feast on, relatively guilt-free.

This kale dish is light, healthier, but full of seasonal goodness with kale, pears, apples, cranberry and pumpkin seeds. I hate throwing out leftover salad that wilts from the dressing. The kale here stands up to the dressing, and you can save the leftovers for the next day! By tossing the fruit with the vinaigrette, it prevents browning and you can do the chopping and prep well in advance of the meal, making it easier on you, too.

1 bunch kale, leaves torn finely, discard stems
2 apples, diced
1 pears, diced
4 figs, quartered, optional
1/2 lemon, juice
1/4 cup craisins
1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds

3 Tbs. cranberry sauce (yes, the canned stuff!)
3 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
3 Tbs. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lemon, juice

The day before Thanksgiving, wash the kale and remove the stems. Tear into small pieces, and dry in a salad spinner. Store in a plastic bag, in the vegetable crisper of the fridge, with a paper towel tucked in the bag to absorb excess moisture. Add the pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries together in a small container.

Three hours before dinner, whisk the salad dressing together. Chop the apples and pears. Squeeze half the lemon over them to help prevent browning. Folding apple and pear into the dressing also prevents browning. Store in the refrigerator.

Before dinner, place the kale on a platter, blend the dressing and fruit again in case the oil has separated. Toss the kale with the fruit and dressing. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries on top. This should just take minutes.

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