Friday, October 22, 2010

Kale salad with sherry-walnut vinaigrette

When I was younger, my parents would sometimes let me help cook when people were coming over for dinner. This resulted in some mishaps (accidentally putting way too much chile powder in a taco filling, for example), but there were also successes. In particular, I remember making a salad once with greens, blue cheese, apples, and walnuts. Until then, my salads had always consisted of lettuce with chopped vegetables, so the idea of a salad with fruit/cheese/nuts instead of veggies was something of a revelation to me. And I think that salad gave me my first taste of blue cheese, which I am very grateful for!

This kale salad was something I put together for lunch last weekend, and it came out really good. And it also gave me my first taste of a new cheese, ricotta salata in this case. I went for a sweet-salty theme with the salad - sweet raisins, salty cheese, sweet & salty roasted walnuts. The dressing is from The Gourmet Cookbook - Andrew and I bought both sherry vinegar and walnut oil in Bar Harbor during our honeymoon, so the sherry-walnut dressing seemed fated to be made in our kitchen at some point.

Kale salad with sherry-walnut vinaigrette
Serves 3-4

1 bunch kale, stems removed and leaves cut into thin slivers (I used Red Russian kale)
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 tbs maple syrup
1/2 cup coarsely grated ricotta salata cheese
1/2 cup golden raisins

Adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook
1 1/2 tbs sherry vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 tbs walnut oil

Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Toss walnuts with maple syrup and sprinkle with salt. Bake in preheated oven until toasted and crunchy, about 4-5 minutes. Let walnuts cool. Toss together kale, walnuts, ricotta salata, and raisins in a large bowl.

Whisk together vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Slowly pour in oil, whisking until well blended. (I make my salad dressing in a mason jar, and shake everything together instead of whisking).

Toss salad with enough dressing to lightly coat the kale (you will have leftover dressing). Eat salad within a few hours of dressing.


  1. Your kale salad looks wonderful - love the idea of the ricotta salata and raisins in there.
    Sue :-)

  2. This salad was delicious - and the dressing will be a staple in our house, loved it!

  3. Julie, so glad to hear that you enjoyed it!


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