A good friend of mine gifted me with a free local produce box from Greenling. Greenling is an Austin based company that now also operates in the Dallas, San Antonio and Houston areas. They make organic, local produce more easily accessible and do a great job of it. They even delivered my box to my front door, and we live way out in the burbs. In my lovely local box was a bunch of kale and 3 huge beets, along with some other treasures. I immediately knew what would become of the kale and beets.
I loved this salad. We ate it as a side dish the night I made it and I ate it for lunch the next three days in a row. Kale holds up so well that it was delicious every time, not soggy and droopy like salads can get after being dressed and stored overnight. It was probably better after a night in the fridge, so you can always make it ahead of time. Maybe leave out the almonds so they stay crunchy, and leave out the feta if you don’t want it to be pink!
The beets provide great color and earthiness, but if you don’t like beets add in some shredded carrots, chopped apples or pear. Use golden raisins in place of the cranberries, toasted walnuts or pine nuts instead of the almonds. I like to play around with the dressing also, different kinds of vinegar, honey instead of agave, orange juice instead of lemon. Just start with a big bunch of kale and add in what you like and what you have on hand! Enjoy!
Kale Salad with Roasted Beets, Cranberries, Almonds and Feta
- 2 large beets
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- olive oil
- kosher salt and pepper
- 1 bunch of kale, stalks removed and leaves roughly chopped
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped
- 4 ounces of feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- 1 garlic clove, grated on a microplane or very finely chopped
- kosher salt and pepper
- Roast the Beets: Preheat oven to 400°F. Peel the beets and cut them into 1 inch chunks. Spread them onto a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme and toss to coat. Roast for 40 minutes, turning twice, until they are fork tender. Remove from the oven and let cool. You can do this ahead of time and store the beets in a container in the fridge for a day or two.
- Make the dressing: Combine all ingredients and whisk well, season with salt and pepper and taste, adjust to your liking.
- Combine kale with half of the dressing and toss well (your clean hands work well for this!) Add more dressing if it seems dry, but be careful not to overdress.
- Add in cranberries, beets, feta and almonds. Toss gently so you don’t break up the feta too much.
- Serve immediately or let sit in the fridge for a few hours to let flavors marry and allow the kale to soften a bit.