Green, leafy kale is among my secret obsessions. I must admit… it’s better than being obsessed with cream-filled donuts or four-ct. diamonds or loafing around on the couch all day. Kale is healthy and full of nutrients, and I just happen to think that it’s terrific. I love it sautéed and simply seasoned, and I especially love it when added to soups. When I spot a kale salad on a restaurant menu, where it is served raw and tossed with dressing, I don’t hesitate to order it. For me, a good kale salad is a treat indeed. Here’s a great salad that showcases this wonderful green: Berry and Bacon Kale Salad with Blackberry Jam Vinaigrette
Kale is a little different than lettuce. Lettuce can be drizzled with salad dressing and it’s good to go. Kale leaves are tougher, so they need a little tender-loving care when utilized for salad. I like to cut the leaves into small pieces or shreds, and toss them with the salad dressing. Then let them marinate in the dressing for about 20 minutes before you add in the other ingredients.
This salad is dressed with a simple blackberry jam vinaigrette (sub strawberry jam if you’d like), and the add-ins are berries, crumbled crispy bacon, and feta or goat cheese.
It just so happens to turn out to be a great 4th of July barbecue recipe for a couple of reasons:
#1: It’s red, white and blue! It’s always fun to serve a festive-looking salad on the 4th, right?
#2: It’s healthy too! With all of the great, not-so-light food you may be scarfing down on the 4th of July, you can feel good about eating a little bit of this to even things out.
How do you feel about kale? Are you a big fan like me… or do you still need some convincing?
Berry and Bacon Kale Salad with Blackberry Vinaigrette
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 min + marinating time
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon seedless blackberry jam
5 to 6 cups chopped kale, ribs removed and just leaves chopped or cut into shreds)
3 to 5 slices of bacon (depending on your bacon craving), cooked and crumbled
One handful of raspberries or chopped strawberries (about 2/3 cup)
One handful of blackberries or blueberries (about 2/3 cup)
1/3 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
1. Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Place the kale in a large bowl. Drizzle the vinaigrette on top and toss it well. Let the kale marinate in the vinaigrette for about 20 minutes (tossing again once in a while to redistribute the dressing).
3. Add the remaining ingredients, toss again, and serve.
*To prepare this recipe as gluten-free, just be sure to use brands of bacon, feta cheese, mustard and jam that are known to be GF.
*For dairy-free, leave off the feta cheese.