By Amy Traverso
Sep 02 2014
Kale retains its spot as the current “It Green,” which is great for local farmers (it grows particularly well in our cold climate) and for our health (it’s packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory flavonoids). This simple salad makes the most of a few well-matched ingredients and plays the earthy kale off the nuts, the sweet apples, and the salty cheese.
1 medium-size shallot, minced
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
First, start the vinaigrette: In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the shallot, vinegar, salt, pepper, and maple syrup. Set aside to let the shallot marinate.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 large sweet apples, such as Baldwin, Gala, Pink Lady, or Gravenstein, cored and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
2/3 cup roughly chopped pecans
1 large bunch (about 1 pound) kale, any variety, destemmed and finely chopped
2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
Next, prepare the apples: Set a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and heat for a minute; then add the apples. Cook, stirring often, until the apples are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat. Now set a small skillet over medium-low heat and add the pecans. Cook, stirring often, until toasted and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.
Put the chopped kale in a large bowl. Pour all but a few of the still-warm apples and all of the pecans over it and toss well; the kale will wilt slightly.
Finish the vinaigrette by slowly whisking the 3 tablespoons of olive oil into the vinegar mixture. Pour the vinaigrette over the kale, a bit at a time, tossing as you go. Top the salad with the blue cheese and reserved apple slices.