Kale, Apple, Walnut and Bacon Salad

My diet this summer has consisted mainly of salads, a good amount of ice cream and coffee. I tell myself it’s a balanced diet. I’m not sure where my insatiable sweet tooth has come from (no, I’m not pregnant). But I do know that I need to counteract it somehow, and so salad-eating has been my strategy.

I made this salad twice for dinner last week, once on its own and once with some grilled chicken. It’s super flavorful, satisfying and  hearty enough to stand on its own for a meal. Because kale stands up so well to dressing, I could even eat the leftover salad for lunch the next day. (Nothing worse than a soggy salad, IMHO).

Apple, Bacon & Walnut Kale Salad

Serves 4 as a starter, and 2, maybe 3, as a main dish
Apple, Bacon & Walnut Kale Salad

Ingredients

For the salad:

1 apple (gala or honeycrisp, chopped into small-medium pieces)
6-8 strips of bacon, cooked crisp
1/2 cup of toasted, roughly chopped walnuts
1/3 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
1 medium bunch of chopped kale (stems removed)

For the dressing:

1/3 cup of olive oil
2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Directions

Prepare your dressing first, to allow time for the flavors to meld. Remove the stems/ribs from the kale and chop into small pieces. Cook bacon and walnuts, set aside. Place kale in a large bowl and pour 80% of dressing over top, “massaging” it into the kale leaves. Chop your apple and mix into salad. Add cooled and chopped bacon and walnuts. Add remaining dressing and toss. Top with shredded Parmigiana Reggiani cheese.

Note: because of the coarseness of the kale leaves, this salad is actually best if it’s let to sit, dressed, for 30 minutes or so (it won’t wilt unpleasantly as many salads would).

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