Kale salad with blueberry vinaigrette and maple pecans
The secret to making this a delicious salad is to massage the vinaigrette into the leaves of kale an hour before serving. It gives the leaves time to soften and absorb some of the dressing and makes them much more palatable to eat raw. Feel free to change up the roasted vegetables to suit your liking.
1 large bunch kale
1/3 cup olive oil
¼ cup walnut or hazelnut oil, or olive oil
¼ cup blueberry jam
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
3 small-medium beets, peeled
2 small sweet potatoes – the organic kind
BBQ seasoning, such Rusty Sled
10-12 Brussels sprouts
1 tsp dried summer savoury leaves, not ground
1 cup pecan halves
¼ cup maple syrup
Maldon sea salt or other large flake salt
1 small carrot
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1 cup blueberries or saskatoon berries
¼ of a red onion, thinly sliced
2 grilled chicken breasts, or leftover steak or pulled pork, or tofu
Whisk together the olive oil, walnut oil, blueberry jam, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, and salt and pepper.
Rinse the kale and pat dry. Dip the kale leaves into the dressing. Holding the kale over a large bowl, massage the dressing into the leaves with your fingers. Watch, the dressing with splatter. As you work, tear the leaves off the stems and into bite size pieces. Continue with all the leaves ensuring that you reserve about 3-4 tbsp of dressing. Set aside the kale for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the beets in half lengthwise and then cut each half into 3-4 wedges. Toss with some oil and salt and pepper. Transfer to an aluminium foil lined cookie sheet, leaving room on the tray for the sweet potato and brussels sprouts.
Cut the sweet potato in half lengthwise and cut each half into 4 wedges. If you are using a really large sweet potato, you may wish to cut it into large chunks instead. Toss with oil and some BBQ or all-purpose seasoning (I like www.beakitchenhero.com Rusty Sled.) Transfer to the cookie sheet, ensuring that the sweet potatoes are separate from the beets.
Peel away the outer leaves of the brussels sprouts and discard. Trim the ends. Cut in half lengthwise. Toss with some oil and the summer savoury leaves and season with salt. Transfer to the cookie sheet. You should have three separate areas on the baking sheet with vegetables. Bake for about 30 minutes, until tender.
Line a small ovenproof tray with parchment paper. Add the pecans and ¼ cup maple syrup and toss well. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the maple syrup is bubbly and the pecans are starting to brown, stirring half way through. Remove to a wire rack and sprinkle the pecans with some Maldon salt. Set aside to cool completely.
Thinly slice the carrot.
To serve, place a mound of kale leaves on each plate. Top with some of the roasted vegetables, some sliced carrots, sliced red onion and slices of chicken. Scatter over some pomegranate seeds and blueberries. Drizzle with about 1 tbsp of the dressing and top with some maple pecans.