It’s time. Time to join the kale bandwagon. I know, kale isn’t the easiest leafy green to love. It can be kinda bitter, a little too leafy, and it just doesn’t “hit the spot” like some other things (eh hem, chocolate). I get it. However, this warm kale salad with maple dijon dressing might just have you hopping on the kale bandwagon, wearing a “KALE IS MY BESTIE” T-shirt with pride!
If you aren’t quite sold yet, hear me out. Sweet maple syrup with a hint of dijon, combined with an olive oil base, drizzled over warmed kale and garnished with nutty, toasted hazelnuts and juicy julienned pears. Closer?
When kale tastes like a cozy Saturday morning, when kale makes other salads look like child’s play, and when kale becomes your new favorite food, BECAUSE of this salad, then my job is done. And if you already like kale, then not only will you approve of this beauty, you might consider growing your own kale garden.
I pondered adding more ingredients to this super salad. I thought, “just two garnished ingredients…too simple?” But I quickly realized, simple is good. After all, life should be more simple. And why mess with a good thing? This salad IS good. And warm. And sweet. And crunchy. Simple and good.
Toasting the hazelnuts is critical to giving this salad that extra savory flavor. Whenever I cook or bake with hazelnuts, I ALWAYS toast them. It truly does create a better, richer flavor. I also used my mandoline slicer to evenly cut the pears. My slicer saves me so much time and always produces kick butt results for the whole ‘presentation factor’.
This warm kale salad with maple dijon dressing is a perfect lunch, fantastic dinner side, and EVEN works for breakfast. I swear to kale, I had this salad with two poached eggs and it rocked my world.
I incorporated the maple dijon dressing into the kale as the base for sautéing. You could certainly do the same, or simply sauté the kale on its own (with a little olive oil) and drizzle the dressing on the salad before serving. Or drink the dressing and eat the kale later. It’s all the same once it gets in your belly.
Are you smack dab in the middle of a Whole30 challenge? Easy peasy. Simply throw 2-3 dates in a small pan, add a few tablespoons of water, and boil until the dates become soft, almost mushy. Then combine the dates, olive oil, salt, and compliant mustard in a small food processor to make the delicious, Whole30 dressing.
And don’t forget to try these ‘cheesy’ kale chips! The love affair has no bounds when it comes to kale creations!
- 8-10 cups kale leaves
- ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts
- ½ pear
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the raw hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven 10-15 minutes. Watch closely so they do not burn.
- Using a mandoline slicer or a small knife, cut the pear into small, matchstick-sized pieces.
- Combine dressing ingredients into a small bowl.
- Tear off the kale leaves and wash under cool water. Pat the leaves dry and place into a large saucepan on medium heat.
- Drizzle in the dressing to use a base to sauté the kale.
- Toss and let heat for around 4-6 minutes, until kale starts to wilt slightly. .
- Remove from heat and add toasted hazelnuts and pears.