This chopped kale salad with pears and gorgonzola is perfect for a holiday dinner party.
- 1 large head lacinato (Tuscan) kale
- 1 head curly kale
- 1/2 head radicchio
- 1 pear (firm but ripe)
- 1/2 cup crumbled gorgonzola or other blue cheese
- 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup candied walnuts (recipe below)
For the mustard-shallot vinaigrette
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup walnut halves
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup water
- kosher salt
- Make the vinaigrette: Add everything to a blender, and blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Prepare the kale: remove the leaves from the tough stems (discard the stems), then stack the leaves and cut into ribbons. Add to a very large salad bowl, drizzle with a little extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt, and use your hands to massage for about a minute, until the kale has reduced a bit in size and is bright green and glossy.
- To the bowl, add all other ingredients, reserving a bit of each one to use as topping at the end.
- Pour over half the vinaigrette, and use your hands (or a big spoon) to mix everything together really well. Top with the reserved ingredients, drizzle a little extra dressing over the top and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or place in the fridge for up to 6 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Add walnuts, sugar, and water to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, give it a good stir, then turn down heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the walnuts to the baking sheet. You want a little bit of the syrupy water to come with the walnuts onto the sheet pan, as this will add to the caramelization. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until the nuts are fragrant and lightly caramelized. They’ll harden and get nice and crunchy as they cool.
- I like to store these in the freezer, or you can use immediately on the salad.