Kale and Roasted Beet Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing
This healthy wintery salad recipe has a vegan option. Massaged kale, roasted beets, candied maple pecans, and optional feta or goat cheese.
5-6 small roasted beets (red and/or golden)
1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup real maple syrup, divided
1 bunch curly kale
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (good quality)
1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese (optional - omit to keep vegan/Pareve)
Peel your roasted beets, then slice them into wedges. Set aside.
Place the pecans in a small skillet and toast over medium heat for 4-5 minutes till fragrant.
Pour 1/4 cup maple syrup over the pecans and bring to a boil over medium. Sprinkle the pecans evenly with a dash of cayenne. Let the syrup boil for 1-2 minutes over medium, stirring frequently. till most of the liquid evaporates.
Pour the pecans immediately onto a piece of parchment or wax paper. Spread them out with a spoon into a single layer. Let them cool and dry out.
Meanwhile, clean your kale, pat dry, and cut the leaves from the tough stalks. Discard stalks. Cut the leaves into small pieces and place in a salad bowl. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt. Massage the kale with clean hands for 2-3 minutes till it wilts and loses its bitter flavor.
In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp maple syrup, and lemon juice. Whisking briskly and constantly, drizzle the olive oil very slowly into the mixture till the dressing is emulsified and thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the roasted beet wedges and crumbled feta or goat cheese to the salad.
Break apart the candied pecans into small pieces.
Sprinkle the pecans over the top of the salad.
Serve each portion of salad drizzled with a bit of dressing (about 1 tbsp per serving).
Note: This salad does not keep well when assembled. If you plan on eating it and saving leftovers, store the elements separately-- beets in one container, candied pecans in another, cheese in another, and the kale in a sealed plastic bag. Assemble ingredients for each portion of salad, and make the dressing fresh before serving. If you store the salad assembled, the pecans will get soggy and the kale will become limp-- best to store the elements separately and make it fresh.