Beautifully bitter kale takes on a bright sweetness with an overnight marination in my flavor-infused vinaigrette. And when dressed with fruit, cheese, and nuts, this Kale Salad with Sweet Dijon Vinaigrette could be the perfect summertime salad.
“Too tough, too bitter, overbearing,” these are the complaints I often hear about this sometimes maligned green. But kale continues to make a comeback onto the tables of southerners who have embraced this garden delight with a bevy of new recipes like this one.
Marinating the kale in the dressing for a few hours before serving (or overnight) breaks down the fibrous leaves and adds a lovely sheen of flavor that counteracts the natural bitterness—a delicious combination. Try this salad with whatever fruits are fresh and ripe at your greengrocer, and you are sure to have a winner.
- 6 slices smoked bacon, chopped
- 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon sugar or sugar substitute
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 bunches kale
- ½ cup cubed white cheddar cheese
- ½ cup blueberries
- ½ cup strawberries, chopped
- 1 apple, thinly sliced
- ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
- Crackers, for serving
- In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the bacon pieces and fry until crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain the bacon and discard the grease.
- For the vinaigrette: In a large mixing bowl, whisk the vinegar, mustard, lemon juice, and sugar together. While whisking, drizzle the olive oil into the bowl.
- Add the kale to the mixing bowl and toss in the dressing, coating every leaf. Place in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight.
- Assemble the salad by adding the rest of the ingredients to the mixing bowl and combine with the kale. Serve with crackers.
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