This past weekend I visited my family in New York and Pennsylvania for some dining, wining, shooting (targets), and lots of foliage.
On our way up to the Poconos on Friday my mother was telling me about a new kale salad she was going to make for dinner that night. Although I initially (and sarcastically) told her that kale salads were “so last year”, I swallowed my words after tasting it! She chopped the kale very finely and dressed it in a lemon vinaigrette with grated Parmesan and toasted pine nuts. It was very simple and delicious; everyone at the table had seconds.
So on our way back to NY from the Poconos my mom and I were talking about other kale salads that she could make for Thanksgiving. I suggested doing something with apples and almonds, and she said she had a great apple cider vinaigrette that would go with that. So we decided to test it out for dinner on Monday night, and it was another great success!
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- 3/4 cup apple cider (preferably unfiltered)
- 2 1/2 TB cider vinegar
- 1 tsp finely chopped shallot
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Autumn Kale Salad (serves 6)
- 6 cups Curly Kale, washed with stems removed and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1 honeycrisp apple, sliced thinly with a mandolin
- 1/3 cup apple cider Vinaigrette
Start by making the dressing. Boil apple cider in a small saucepan or skillet over moderate heat until reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 5-8 minutes. Keep an eye on it, as it reduces very quickly. Once cooled, whisk together with vinegar, shallot, salt and pepper in a mini food processor. Add oil in a slow, steady drip.
Add the kale to a large salad bowl and toss in the cider vinaigrette about 30 minutes before serving. This will soften the kale a little bit, and enhance the flavors in the dressing.
Meanwhile heat 1/2 tsp olive oil in a small skillet over a medium flame. Add the sliced almonds and toast for about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Just before serving the salad, add the toasted almonds and sliced apple and toss to combine.
The dressing and the honeycrisp apples add great fall flavors to the salad, and the toasted almonds give it another layer of texture. This makes a great side dish to grilled steak or pork chops, or roasted Thanksgiving Turkey! If serving this salad as a main dish, add some bacon or pancetta for extra protein. Or if serving as a course, pair with a crisp Sancerre or Sauvignon Blanc. Enjoy!