Kale Chopped Salad with Maple-Almond Vinaigrette Recipe

Ingredients:

For the Maple-Almond Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons creamy almond butter (tahini can be substituted)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water (to thin)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For the salad:

  • 1 large bunch lacinato kale (about 4 cups)
  • 2 cups thinly shaved Brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries (or 1/2 apple, chopped)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

Instructions:

Make the vinaigrette:

  • In a small bowl, whisk together almond butter, vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, and water until smooth and emulsified. If the almond butter is very thick, you can microwave for a few seconds to soften it.
  • Season generously with salt and black pepper to taste.

Prep the kale:

  • Remove the thick ribs from the kale and discard.
  • Stack the leaves, roll them tightly, and chop finely.
  • Place in a large bowl and use your hands to gently massage the kale for 1-2 minutes. This helps soften it and make it less bitter.

Prep the Brussels sprouts:

  • Trim ends off of Brussels sprouts and remove any tough outer leaves.
  • Thinly slice the sprouts with a knife or use a mandolin for very thin shavings.

Assemble the salad:

  • Add the shaved Brussels sprouts, sliced almonds, dried cranberries (or chopped apple), Parmesan cheese, and crumbled bacon (if using) to the bowl with the kale.
  • Drizzle with desired amount of the Maple-Almond Vinaigrette and toss everything until evenly coated.

Serve and adjust:

  • Taste the salad and adjust salt, pepper, and dressing. You can add the vinaigrette gradually until you reach your desired flavor and texture.
  • Enjoy immediately, or chill before serving!

Tips:

  • Make-ahead: Dressing can be made several days ahead and stored in the refrigerator. Kale can be prepped a day in advance and stored in a container with a slightly damp paper towel to keep it fresh.
  • No almond butter? Substitute with tahini or peanut butter.
  • Variations: Add different nuts, cheese, or dried fruit. Try pepitas, sunflower seeds, goat cheese, feta, or chopped dates.
  • Heartier salad: Add cooked quinoa, farro, or roasted chickpeas for a more substantial meal.

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