Up until last Saturday on a late night run to the grocery store I had no idea that baby kale leaves even existed. I mean, I use Kale all the time in juice and smoothies, soups, etc, but have never been to intrigued by the idea of using those big, tough leaves in a salad.
Then I found these little baby kale greens and knew they would come home with me. And it turns out that they were just as lovely as I knew they would be. Delicate, not tough at all. Just perfect.
I tossed them together with some winter appropriate items. Crisp, fresh Asian pears(though you could use any pear you want), dark, moody but sweet black grapes, salty and creamy crumbles of Gorgonzola cheese, and crunchy candied walnuts.
To tie it all together I tossed it in a simple honey vinaigrette. If I haven’t told you before, homemade dressing is the only way to go. I haven’t bought bottled dressing in at least two years now. I find that if I make a bit extra every time I make dressing, I always have a few delicious flavors ready to be used in the fridge. Not that that’s necessary. Homemade dressing is obnoxiously easy.
- 8 oz. Baby Kale Leaves
- 2 Asian Pears, sliced
- 1 C. Black grapes, halved
- ½ C. Walnut halves
- ⅓ C. Sugar
- ⅓ C. Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- FOR THE DRESSING:
- ⅔ C. Canola Oil
- ½ C. Honey
- 1 T. Lemon Juice
- 3 T. Apple Cider Vinegar
- ½ t. Dry Mustard
- 1½ t. Salt
- ¼ t. White Pepper
- 1 T. Onion
- To Candy the Walnuts:
- Place the ⅓ C. sugar in a small saute pan. Heat the pan on medium/high. When the sugar begins to melt around the edges, place the walnuts on top and stir in with a rubber spatula. Continue to stir the nuts around the pan every 10 seconds or so. The sugar will begin to caramalize. Stir the nuts constantly until they are evenly coated in caramelized sugar. Do not allow to burn! Pour the nuts onto a greased cookie sheet or non-stick mat, spreading them out and allow to cool.
- For the Dressing:
- Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until emulsified. Keep refrigerated and shake or whisk to re-emulisfy before serving.
- For the Salad:
- In a large bowl, toss together the kale leaves, pear slices, grapes, gorgonzola cheese, and candied walnuts. Pour desired amount of dressing over the salad and toss well.
- Serve immediately.
I’m so excited to be able to bring you my first real giveaway today! I really want to thank all of you, I am so thankful for my readers!!
One lucky reader will will a Four Piece servingware set in their choice of color from one of my favorite shops, OUR CAVALCADE!
They have the most beautiful powder coated serveware and I have been drooling over it for months. I got lucky this Christmas and received a set as a gift and use it all the time. I swear it makes my food look prettier, just by having it near 😉 I just love the vintage style of the handles and how they are updated with the powder coating. So, so pretty.
Here they are making my whipped sweet potatoes look all lovely.
They have so many pretty colors to choose from too. I have my eye on that light blue!
To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter below!
Congratulations, Veronica! Make sure you check your email!. If I don’t hear from you by 12 pm. Monday afternoon a new winner will be chosen. *I am not being monetarily compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.
I’m picking up some baby kale next time I’m at the store too! Does it have a mild flavor? Way to go on the recipe. It looks fantastic!
Thank you Mindy! The kale does have a milder flavor, more like baby spinach or other spring greens.
Katie dayton says
I had no idea baby kale existed either! Going to have to try it.
I love the classic white spoons. So lovely.
The white are my favorite =)
Jonie @ Just Between Friends says
First of all, this salad is gorgeous! It sounds delicious!
Secondly, I would love the white set for myself. I love the classic look of it!
Thank you Jonie! I love the white too =)
Katie Gehrke says
I can’t wait to try this salad. Thanks for all the great recipes!! And, I want the red ones!!
You’re welcome, Katie! The red would be perfect for valentines day 😉
THAT SALAD LOOKS FABULOUS, YUM!!!!!!
OOPS, LOVE THE WHITE ,AND THE RED!
Thank you Jody! It is really good =)
I love walnuts and honey together! And everything gets better with Gorgonzola 🙂
I think I’d choose the white or the light blue set but all of them are so pretty.
Anja, You are so right! Gorgonzola makes magic =)
I can’t wait to try this incredible recipe…Gorgonzola sounds wonderful in this dish. And I would go with the Red Servingware set to add a splash of color in the kitchen.
Thanks Veronica! I hope you get to try it soon!
I can’t wait to try this salad! looks wonderful! I loooove the blue color!
Thank You Mayya! It really is so good!
I”ve been looking for a special kale salad recipe for a while now. This looks wonderful – particularly w/ the Gorgonzola. Will have to try it out.
Thanks Lindsay! I think the Gorgonzola makes it!
Linda Amori says
The whole meal looks delicious, can’t wait to try the ravioli and salad. The white pieces would mix in with most any dishes! Thanks
Thank you Linda!
I love the red and white! Love you Kayley!
Love you too =)
Aubrey Pettit says
Red. Totally Red!!!
That seems to be the favorite color! =)
I could look at your food pics all day!!! You are so talented! Maybe one day soon I’ll actually attempt your recipes! Thx for sharing!
Thank you, Kim! You should attempt(and succeed!), they aren’t hard! =)
This salad looks so yummy! Can’t wait to see if my local store carries baby kale. Hoping I can pretty up my kitchen with the red servingware.
Thanks, Jessica! I found my baby kale at Walmart(of all places), if that helps!
Jenny Shepherd says
Kayley, you’re doing such a great job with the blog! I always enjoy seeing your beautiful dishes. I love the red color!
Thank you so much Jenny!
since my dishes are marroon Id love that burgundy color to match!! this salad looks amazing, pinning!
Thanks, Rena! And thank you for pinning!
Foodgawker brought me here, and I love the blog! The salad looks amazing, I love asian pears in anything. And I’m in the same camp as you, I love that baby blue look for the servingware
Thank you Ky! So happy you stopped by =)
I love that blue one!
Hi Kayley!!! I grew enough Kale to last me through the winter…or so I thought. The deer ate every last speck this fall. Now I’m going to try to grow baby Kale : ) Hopefully I can get it harvested and into that amazing salad before the creatures eat it : ) Oh and ps. Love the light aqua spoons, but I gotta say the white ones would coordinate with more of my dishes at a dinner setting. Guess I’ll have to have both ; )
Those darn deer! I always drove by your garden and was so impressed with all that you grow! That’s a bummer about the kale, though. You helped make some deer very healthy before the winter, I’m sure they’re grateful 😉
Carolyn Eddie says
Love this, looks like a great menu and well written. Might have to try caramelizing my walnuts, living in Copenhagen and missing Trader Joes desperately!