Babs’s Kale Salad
My mom doesn’t think that she’s a great cook, and while it’s true that she rarely cooks super-fancy stuff, that doesn’t NOT make her a good cook. The truth is that she has a great flavor palette and can come up with really fun flavor combos that I wouldn’t have thought went well together.
Over the holidays, she served this colorful kale salad that I couldn’t get enough of. Betsy and I ate huge bowls of it and I made sure to snap a picture on my phone so I could try to re-create it later.
The salad has the perfect mix of crunchy and creamy, salty and sweet. Heck. I even used frozen raspberries for my version and it was still delicious.
Thanks for this one Babs!
Babs's Kale Salad
Yield: Serves 4-6.
1 big bunch kale, chopped and washed
1 ripe pear, diced
1 avocado, diced
2 cups green seedless grapes, halved
4 ounces feta cheese, cubed
1 cup raspberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
Pinch of salt and pepper
Small Food processor
1) For dressing, combine ingredients in a small food processor and pulse until smooth. Set aside until needed.
2) Using hands, rip kale into pieces and remove from large stems.Rip into bite-sized pieces and rinse well with cold water. use a salad spinner to dry kale or pat dry with paper towels.
3) Dice pear and halve grapes. Dice avocado and cube feta into small cubes.
4) Toss all ingredients together and top with fresh raspberries (I actually used thawed ones). Drizzle with raspberry dressing and serve immediately.
Leftover salad will keep for a day or two in the fridge.
My mom actually cooked this dressing on the stove to reduce it a bit and make it thicker, but that was an extra step that I’m not sure was 100% necessary.
I just combined all the ingredients in a small food processor and pulsed them until they were smooth. Again, I used frozen raspberries for this.
After the dressing comes together, season it with a pinch of salt and pepper and it’s ready to go!
My mom originally used apples for her version, but I switched out pears when I recreated it. Honestly, any crunchy fruit would go great in the salad.
Probably the most important part of this salad is making sure you get your kale really clean. Because of all the creases in kale leaves, they are annoyingly good at hanging onto dirt and crud.
I just use my hands to rip the leaves off the stems and rip them into bite-sized pieces. Then I rinse them really well in cold water and give them a spin in a salad spinner. You could also pat them dry with a few paper towels, but you do want to dry them off so the dressing sticks to the leaves later.
Then just dice up the pear and cut the grapes in half. Get seedless grapes so your eaters don’t find little grape seeds everywhere.
I was a bit skeptical of the feta cheese in this salad, but it’s actually a nice touch. It gives the salad some salty flavor and also a creamy element.
After all, when is feta cheese not delicious?
Remember, when pitting your avocados, the easiest way to do it is to slice them in half and then carefully chop into the avocado seed with a knife. Hold the avocado in a towel to protect your hand and give it a chop, a little twist, and the seed will pop right out.
(NOTE: Be very careful when pitting avocados. Please use a towel to protect your hand and don’t stab the seed. Watch this Youtube video for a walkthrough on how to do it safely.)
After that it’s as easy as tossing everything together in a bowl and serving it up!
When it comes to dressing it, you could either toss the kale with some of the dressing to coat it evenly or just serve the dressing on the side and let people dress their own salad. I did the second version because Betsy and I like different amounts of dressing on our salad.
This is a great winter salad and really packs some great flavors. While you could obviously serve it as an appetizer, Betsy and I ate it for a meal with some crusty bread. It was really tasty!
This salad has a reasonably short shelf-life once it’s made, especially if you dress all of it. It’ll keep okay for a day or two in the fridge but after that it degrades quickly. That said, we had no problem polishing it off before it went bad.
Thanks for the good salad Mom!