This winter chopped kale salad is filled with pears, dates, gorgonzola and topped with a tang cranberry vinaigrette dressing.
I seriously cannot get enough of cranberries right now. It’s to the point where an entire section of my freezer is being occupied with two 2 pound bags from BJ’s (how can you say no to bulk discounts like $2.99/bag?!) and they’ve somehow made their way into about 85% of every meal I’ve eaten in the past two weeks.
Cranberry oatmeal, quick cranberry sauce to top dinner, cranberry BBQ sauce with shredded pork, cranberry cherry wine sauce over a pork roast for my mom’s birthday dinner, cranberries in smoothies, cranberry cinnamon rolls (coming soon!) and now…
cranberry vinaigrette over this winter chopped kale salad.
Check out this barley butternut squash salad which uses the cranberry vinaigrette from this chopped kale salad. Two equally delicious winter dishes!
I’m not really down with eating regular kale raw any more, it’s just too tough and my mouth feels tired after all the necessary chewing.
I also have TMJ and my jaw sounds like a ticking time bomb when it has to work too hard (only a slightly annoying distraction when you’re trying to eat).
Tuscan kale, however, is a different story.
It’s so much more tender and all around just a better raw option. Mixed with sweet juicy pears, crunchy toasted walnuts and pungent gorgonzola, it’s a winter wonderland of a salad and so perfect with the tangy cranberry vinaigrette on top.
I find baby kale to be even more tender too – it’s also great in salads.
Our favorite is what I call the best baby kale salad – it’s got crunchy BBQ roasted chickpeas, a creamy tahini dressing and thinly sliced sweet, tart apples. Try it for fall and this one for winter!
Unlike most people who douse any and all cranberries with sugar, I’m a huge fan of their natural tangy flavor.
With citrus rice vinegar in this vinaigrette, the tang factor is taken up a notch too for a perfect lip puckering topping on this healthy winter salad.
For the Dressing
- ½ cup fresh cranberries
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- ½ tablespoon honey
- 1½ tablespoons Nakano Citrus Seasoned Rice Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons water
For the Salad
- 1 bunch tuscan kale, stems removed and leaves rolled and thinly sliced/shredded
- 1 pear, thinly sliced
- 6 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- 1/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola
For the dressing
- Combine all the ingredients except the water in a food processor.
- Process until finely chopped and combined.
- With the processor running, stream the water in until smooth. Scrape down the sides as necessary until it reaches a dressing-like consistency.
For the salad
- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss together.
- Transfer mixture to serving bowl and top with the dressing.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 148Total Fat: 6gCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 3g
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*This post is sponsored by Nakano as part of my ongoing brand ambassadorship with them. All opinions, content and photography are my own.