Well….the cruise is upon is. I am trying to use everything in the fridge that is perishable. This one was inspired by a party we were recently invited to. A local restaurant catered the event. I fell in love with their Kale Caesar. My daughter has had it before and raved about it. Now I know why!
I used the same salad ingredients but came up with my own dressing. Fresh kale, cherry tomatoes, charred corn, black beans, candied pecans, and grated parmesan cheese. My husband used an adjective that I can not repeat…..LOL; followed by the word “great”! After he had two helpings I was convinced blogging it would be a great idea.
Kale has gained popularity over the past few years in restaurants and particularly as salads. I have loved kale since I was a child. I still love the cooked version and we have it in our house quite a bit.
It looks like a lot of ingredients and instructions, but it is well worth it. Make the candied pecans ahead of time. Make the dressing ahead of time. The hardest part is not eating too much. Seriously, it is very simple to make.
I have included instructions for the candied pecans, creamy garlic dressing, and the salad ingredients. Kale is at it’s best this time of year and very easy to find. I hope you give it a try.
Kale Salad with Creamy Garlic Dressing
- 8-10 C of kale, washed well, and chopped into ribbons
- 1 C of grape tomatoes, quartered
- 1 (15 oz) can of black beans, rinsed and drained well
- 1 C of fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 1/2 C freshly grated Parmigiano / Reggiano cheese
- 1/4 C sour cream (I use light)
- 2 Tbsp light mayo
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 C olive oil
- Kosher salt to taste
- Fresh ground pepper
- 1 C pecan halves
- 1 tsp butter
- 2 T packed brown sugar
- 2 tsp water
- 1/8 tsp vanilla
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
For the pecans:
- Combine the sugar, water, vanilla, and salt in a small bowl and set aside near by.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter, add the pecans and toast until just fragrant and hot.
- Quickly pour the sugar mixture over the nuts and toss to coat, cook for about 15-20 seconds. Do not walk away, they will burn very quickly if not watched.
- Pour onto a parchment or waxed sheet lined pan and allow to cool. They will harden as they cool down.
- Once cooled break apart if needed. Use immediately or store in an airtight container for later use. * You may want to make a double batch. They will disappear quickly.)
For the dressing:
- Combine the first 6 ingredients and with an immersion blender mix and slowly add the olive oil. You can also use a blender for this step.
- Add the salt and pepper to taste.
- Set aside while putting the salad together.
For the salad:
- Put the kale into a large bowl and massage with your hands to help break it down. Immediately add half of the dressing to help soften it and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes.
- While that is sitting cook the corn kernels with a small amount of olive oil over medium high heat until the sugars produce a nice charred look. Place on top of the salad.
- Add the tomatoes, beans, and cheese, and pecans. (I used a full cup of pecans)
- Add the rest of the dressing and toss all together until everything is coated.
- Garnish with additional shaved cheese if desired.
Nothing left to do but eat and enjoy.
See you after the cruise. Hopefully I will come home with some new taste sensations or at least some great stories.
Til next time,