Kale Salad with Apples, Dates and Pomegranates
Kale’s 10-year History as an American Super Food
An interesting article was recently published in Taste chronicles how kale segued from an obscure stewed Italian vegetable into a raw, American super food. In the U.S. kale is now served everywhere, including McDonalds. Here are some interesting kale factoids:
- 10 years ago very few Americans had heard of a kale salad,
- Today Whole Foods sells 9 million bunches of kale each year
- Mario Batali was a kale pioneer offering a lemony kale salad back in 2002
- In 2016 raw kale generated $102 million in U.S. grocery sales each year
- 3.5 million kale salads were pinned on Pinterest in 2016
Checkout our Kale post to learn more about the different varieties of kale and kale’s nutritional and health benefits.
How to Strip the Stems
When I first started cooking with kale I used scissors or a knife to remove the stems. At one point, my husband bought me a kale stem-stripping tool. It was a little piece of plastic with various size holes in it. The idea was to insert the kale leaf by the stem and strip it through the hole. After two leaves, I discovered the best way to strip out the stem is with your hands. No tool needed. Just hold the leaf in one hand by the stem and use your other hand to strip away the leaves. Remember kale is tough. You can’t hurt it. In fact, kale likes to be beaten up a bit.
Kale Preparation Method for this Recipe
The method for making this salad was inspired by a recipe published in Self Magazine in December 2012. The two-step process of 1) tossing the kale with an acid honey mixture, allowing it to sit a few minutes, or up to 24 hours and then 2) tossing the kale again with olive oil is a technique I use over and over again. This method serves to tenderize the kale and make it more digestible. This process can be used as the foundation for a variety of kale salads.
Make in Advance
This healthy salad can be started a couple days in advance. Prep the kale and store it in the fridge for a couple days. Then somewhere between 30 minutes and 24 hours before you are ready to serve, toss the kale in the acid-honey mixture. Just before you are ready to serve, toss the kale again with a little olive oil, add the remaining recipe ingredients and toss once more.
Accommodates Many Special Diets
Aside from being uber healthy, this recipe accommodates many special diets including: low carb, paleo, whole 30 and vegan, as long as you omit the parmesan cheese from the diets that do not include dairy.
Make it a Salad-For-Dinner
You can make a very hearty and filling meal out of this salad by adding shredded roast chicken or turkey.
How to Prep PomegranatesThere are tons of methods for seeding pomegranates on the internet. In my view, some are downright silly. Read our Pomegranate article to discover the best way to seed pomegranates.
Mikey and Caley Give This Salad Two Thumbs Up!
Kale, Apple, Date and Pomegranate Salad
This uber healthy salad can be partially prepared a in a day in advance. Loaded with goodness, kale, apples, dates, pomegranates and pecans will do your body good.
2 bunches lacinato or dinosaur kale
¼ cup of limejuice (about 2 limes)
1 T finely minced shallot
1 t honey
A pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
2 T olive oil
1 crispy apple such as Envy, cored and diced into ½” pieces
2 stalks of celery, thinly sliced
8 Medjool dates, pitted and sliced lengthwise into thin strips
½ cup pecans, lightly toasted
2 ounces Parmesan cheese
- Prepare the kale by stripping out the center stems. Stack the stemmed leaves and slice in thin ¼” strips. The kale may be prepared a couple days in advance and stored in the fridge in a Ziploc bag or sealed storage container.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, shallot, honey, and red pepper flakes. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Put the prepared kale in a large bowl and pour the lime/honey mixture over the kale. Using your hands, toss the kale aggressively so that all of the leaves are coated in the mixture. Let stand for at least half an hour or overnight, if you wish.
- When you are ready to serve the salad add 2 T of olive oil to the kale and toss the salad with your hands so that all the kale is coated with the olive oil. Add the apples, celery, dates and pecans. If you are adding the parmesan cheese, use a vegetable grater to shave the parmesan over the salad. Toss one more time.
- Salad will keep at room at temperature for several hours.
Cuisine New American