I have been lying to myself for ages that kale tastes good. I’ve put it in green juices and snuck it into veggie soups just because I know it’s good for me and I need to combat the ton of wine I drink on a weekly basis. But lo and behold… this salad tastes fricking fantastic.
I based it on this salad from Smitten Kitchen. It has everything you want in a great salad. There is texture, saltiness, acid and crunch. I have made it three times in a row this week and I am still not sick of it. I’ve added extra avo on top which was a delight, ribbons of pecorino which was superb and another time some feta on top. So play around and add your favourite touches, but the bones of this baby are GOOD.
Kale & Cranberry Salad with Toasted Almonds & Garlic Crumb
- 1 bunch kale (about 400g)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup raw almonds
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/2 cup panko or coarse breadcrumbs
- 1 small clove garlic, grated fine on a microplane
- 2 spring onions
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Sea salt flakes
- Olive oil
- Sherry vinegar
Prep kale by washing it and removing the stems and any tough ribs. Pat it dry. Layer a few leaves at a time, roll them up and then slice them very finely. Place the shredded kale into a large mixing bowl. Drizzle it with a little olive oil and lemon juice and massage it well. Set aside.
Place the cranberries in a small saucepan and pour in the vinegar and water. Bring them to a simmer. Switch off the heat and leave them in that liquid to plump up.
Combine the breadcrumbs with the grated garlic, a good pinch of sea salt and a little olive oil, about 2 tsp. Toast this in a dry pan until golden brown and the garlic smells super fragrant.
Place the almonds on a baking tray and toast them for 7 minutes at 180˚C. Allow to cool and then give them a rough chop.
Finely slice the spring onions.
Assemble the salad by adding the chopped almonds, drained cranberries and spring onions to the large mixing bowl. If it needs it- add another drizzle of olive oil and a touch of Sherry vinegar. Sprinkle in half of the garlic breadcrumbs. Toss well. Season. Plate the salad and then sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs on top and enjoy every single bite!
*Deb from Smitten adds crumbled pecorino to hers. I used a speed peeler and added ribbons of pecorino to one version of this. But as I said it is delish as is and you can also add your own flair to it. Enjoy!