Kale Salad with Candied Pecans



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Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The day is centered around two of the most important things: loved ones and the dinner table. Although we couldn’t get back to the Midwest to be with our family, we shared turkey, stuffing, wine, and pies with our dear Florida friends.

Among other things (that will probably get blogged on here soon), I brought a kale salad with candied pecans. Our Dinosaur kale (or Lacinato kale) is growing strong with the “cooler” temps here at night. Dino kale is slightly sweeter and more delicate than the curly kale, so it can be eaten raw. I amended a Food and Wine recipe, and omitted the pancetta to make it a little healthier.


2 c pecans
1/2 c confectioners’ sugar
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 1/2 t Kosher salt
1/4 c EV olive oil
1/4 c white wine vinegar
2 T caper brine (from a jar of capers)
3 T pure maple syrup
1 Granny Smith apple
1 8 oz bunch arugula
1 8 oz bunch kale, stems discarded, leaved chopped
3 T snipped chives
2 oz. shaved pecorino cheese


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Next, pour the pecans in a bowl and cover them with water. Let sit for about a minute. Drain, and set aside. In another bowl, whisk the sugar, cayenne, and salt together. Add the wet nuts to the mixture and coat well. Put on a baking sheet that is either lined with parchment paper, or oiled. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

To make the dressing, I like to use a mason jar with a tight fitting lid. Add the vinegar, caper brine, maple syrup, olive oil, and S&P. Shake well. Chop the arugula, kale, and apples, and toss. Once the nuts are cool, you can add them to your salad, along with the grated cheese. Dress the salad when you’re ready to serve.


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