Thanksgiving is the most important Holiday meal of the year, and we all want it to be perfect. This meal can also be a very heavy meal, with lots of starches and rich foods and sauces. With that in mind I thought it would be fun to do a salad for Thanksgiving, something light and flavorful. This Kale and Apple salad is the perfect way to start a Thanksgiving meal, it is bright and crisp with the flavors of fall and makes a nice change of pace from the typical Thanksgiving fare.
Kale & Apple Salad with Fig Vinaigrette
For the Dressing:
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Champagne Vinegar
3 Tbsp Kadota Fig Spread
Fresh ground pepper
Kosher salt to taste
In a medium bowl, whisk the fig spread to loosen a bit then add the vinegar and whisk until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil and continue to stir until incorporated. Add the salt and pepper to taste.
For the Candied Pecans:
2 Tbsp salted butter
2 Tbsp golden brown sugar
1/2 Cup whole pecans
pinch cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
In a small sauce pan, melt the butter and brown sugar then add the pecans and sprinkle a pinch of cayenne pepper - toss to coat. Turn them out onto the prepared cookie sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Set aside and cool.
For the salad:
2 Cups Dinosaur Kale
2 Cups Purple Kale
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
1 large Fuji apple cut julienne style
4 oz. diced pancetta
1/3 Cup Fennel thinly sliced and separated
1/4 Cup Pomegranate arils (or more if you like)
1 Shallot sliced thin
1 Tbsp flour
1/3 Cup shaved Parmesan cheese
In a small sauce pan - cook the diced pancetta until crisp or designed doneness. Reserve the pancetta fat for frying the shallot. Take the sliced shallow and toss in flour. Reheat the pancetta oil and cook the shallot until it's golden brown. Once it's done, drain on a paper towel and set aside.
Clean and devein the kale leaves then rough chop and place in a large salad bowl. Add the apple, fennel, tarragon, pecans, pomegranate arils & cooled pancetta. Pour desired dressing and toss then top with cheese and toss again.
Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main dish.