Technically we are still in Fall even though it's definitely starting to feel like winter! The Christmas lighting festival has started here in Leavenworth and this is always our busiest season of the year. This salad comes in handy when you need something quick and easy for lunch or a side for dinner. To bulk it up, add a few cups of cooked quinoa.
- 1 very large bunch of kale
- 1 medium Honeycrisp apple
- 1 medium bulb of fennel
- 3 ounces chilled goat cheese, crumbled
- ⅓ cup chopped dried dates
- ¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Pomegranate balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil**
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice**
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- ground pepper and salt to taste
- Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients.
- To prepare the kale: Remove and discard the tough ribs from the kale. Chop the kale leaves into small, bite-sized pieces and transfer to a salad bowl. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt over the kale and massage the dressing into the leaves with your hands until the leaves are darker in color and fragrant.
- To prepare the remaining salad ingredients: Chop the apple into small, bite-sized pieces. Use a chef’s knife or mandoline to slice the fennel as thin as possible. Add the apple and fennel to the salad bowl. Crumble the goat cheese over the salad. Roughly chop the dates and add them to the bowl.
- Toast the pepitas in a skillet over medium-low heat, tossing frequently, until fragrant (about 3-5 minutes). Let the pepitas cool in a bowl.
- To prepare the salad: Add the cooled pepitas to the salad bowl. Drizzle dressing and pomegranate balsamic over the salad, and toss well.
Photos by Leslie Carvitto