Kale is all the rage these days, even my local salad bar now has a kale salad base. But in addition to being a nutritional powerhouse, kale is a very versatile green. You can saute it, roast it – just run a search for “kale chips” and you will see what I mean.
Because I prefer eating it raw, I like to put it in salads and experiment with toppings and dressings. I find that baby kale or finely shredded kale works best for raw consumption. The best thing about kale is that being a very sturdy green, it can stand up to bolder ingredients, such as nuts and fruit without turning your salad into a soggy mess.
1 package (5 ounces) of baby kale
1 bunch of red or green seedless grapes
2 granny smith apples
4 ounces walnuts
1/2 lime, juiced
1/4 cup champagne vinegar
2 tablespoons of good Dijon mustard (Mallie is the brand I use)
3/4 cup light tasting olive oil or a neutral-tasting oil of your choice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Finely chop the shallot and place in a bowl with the vinegar and salt.
Let stand for 10-15 minutes, or longer if you have the time, so that the salt dissolves and the shallots marinate. I knew I was going to be making this salad for a late lunch, so I prepared the shallots at breakfast and let the bowl stand on the counter until I needed it later.
Add the mustard and whisk, and slowly add the oil, whisking as you go. This makes a vinaigrette to go with just about any salad.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Place grapes into a glass dish and put in the oven for about 15 minutes. (I was also roasting pears for dessert at the same time).
Juice the lime into a bowl.
Core and peel the apples, and chop into 1/2 inch dice. Mix with lime juice. You can use lemon or lime, depending on your personal preference or what you have on hand, the idea being that citrus will keep the apples from turning brown.
Toast the walnuts in a dry pan over a medium flame. Watch and stir them carefully to make sure they don’t burn. When golden, take off the heat and let cool. Remember, if you leave walnuts on the pan, they will continue toasting even when the flame is off!
Remove the grapes from the oven, and let cool. Drain the apples. Toss kale with apples, walnuts, grapes, and the vinaigrette.