Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry Vinaigrette

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

In honor of my month of healthy eating on the blog, I of course felt obligated to throw a token bunch of kale into my cart at the grocery store.  No arm twisting necessary — kale is one of my favorite greens, and still seems to be oh-so-trendy at the moment.  So I was ready to experiment with some new kale chips, or a fancy kale pasta, or some sort of kale soup.  But as tends to happen, the kale got a little buried in my refrigerator, and wasn’t discovered until a few hours before I left town for Sundance.  Oops!

So at the last second, I decided to whip up a healthy salad before leaving for the airport.  And as seems to be a growing trend whenever I cook and photograph a recipe in a big hurry, it somehow miraculously turned out to be really good and really pretty.  Go figure!

I’ve been on a kale and cranberry kick lately, so I went the “warm” route and sauted up some shallots and garlic and cranberries for a sweet and savory vinaigrette, then topped it all with some sliced almonds.  I meant to also crumble on some cheese, but it turned out that the salad was great (and arguably a little healthier) without it.  Soooo good, friends!!

So whether this is your first time making a kale salad or your 100th, you’ve gotta check out the recipe for this one.

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

The key to a good kale salad is taking an extra minute or two to massage the kale and soften it.  Awkward sounding?  Yes.  Essential to soft, delicious greens?  Yes.

It’s easy.  Anytime you make a kale salad, just toss the kale with a little salt and oil and rub it in for a minute until the kale turns nice and soft and darkens slightly.  So worth it.

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Besides that, the rest of the salad is a breeze as well!  Here’s the quick how-to:

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

First, get those two main ingredients ready to go — some good fresh kale, and dried cranberries.

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Heat some oil in a large skillet, then saute up the shallots, garlic, cranberries, lemon juice, vinegar, and a bit of honey for the vinaigrette.  The cranberries will plump up just a bit while cooking, and will be extra sweet and juicy.  Mmmm.

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Then spoon the mixture on top of your (massaged) kale, give it a good toss, then sprinkle it with some toasted almonds.

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

And voila!  In just 10 minutes or so, this gorgeous kale salad is ready to go.

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry Almond Vinaigrette

This healthy kale salad is topped with a warm cranberry almond vinaigrette.

Ingredients:

3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 cup dried cranberries
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
juice and zest of half a lemon
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 bunch kale, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup sliced almonds
(optional) 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese

Directions:

Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add shallot and saute for at least 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Then add cranberries, red wine vinegar, honey and lemon juice and zest, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss the kale with olive oil and an extra pinch of salt, and massage kale with your fingers for 1 minute until tender. Add in the cranberry/shallot mixture and almonds, and toss to combine. Serve topped with crumbled cheese if desired.

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

Kale Cranberry Salad Recipe | gimmesomeoven.com

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Comments

  1. Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living — January 21, 2014 @ 7:11 am (#)

    I love the warm dressing and the idea of massaging the kale a little before tossing!

    • Ann — January 23, 2014 @ 11:08 pm (#)

      If you steam the kale just a tad, it’s not so tough and works well in salads

  2. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — January 21, 2014 @ 12:00 pm (#)

    Massaging the kale…what a great idea! I usually avoid kale salads because I don’t like how firm the Kale is! Gotta try this! This salad is gorgeous and that warm dressing sounds divine!

  3. Nutmeg Nanny — January 21, 2014 @ 12:01 pm (#)

    I can’t get enough kale, this salad looks divine!

  4. Joybee — January 21, 2014 @ 12:21 pm (#)

    This sounds delicious. I usually just use plain old vinaigrette in my kale salads. They are always good but this sounds great…maybe some blue cheese on top?

  5. natalie@thesweetslife — January 21, 2014 @ 2:58 pm (#)

    I’m huge on kale salads right now and my fave of the moment features a lemon dressing, but I love the idea of this one! Trying soon!

  6. Medeja — January 21, 2014 @ 4:29 pm (#)

    Dried cranberries sound like a great ingredient for salad and with toasted almonds on top looks just irresistible.

  7. Gerry @ Foodness Gracious — January 22, 2014 @ 12:28 am (#)

    Love that the dressing is warm, and kale is fantastic right now!

  8. Kristin — January 22, 2014 @ 12:06 pm (#)

    Your Kale Salad with Warm Cranberry Vinaigrette looks delicious!
    Thank you for all that you do!
    Pinned,
    K-

  9. Helen @ Scrummy Lane — January 23, 2014 @ 1:09 am (#)

    Mmm … ridiculously, I haven’t tried kale yet … ever! You made this sound incredibly tasty for something so simple. Love fruit and nuts in salads. Love your colourful photos, too!

  10. Tracey — January 27, 2014 @ 12:55 pm (#)

    I am just trying kale for the first time and this looks great. Did you massage with oil and then chop it up? I am not familiar with the right way to “prep” kale. Thanks!

    • Ali — July 18, 2014 @ 4:15 pm (#)

      You can massage it with oil either before or after chopping. I find it easiest to massage the kale after chopping. Good luck! :)

  11. Kimberly Johnson — January 31, 2014 @ 5:59 pm (#)

    This was delicious! I boiled a sweet potato cubed it and tossed in the salad perfect!

  12. Connie muse — February 14, 2014 @ 10:44 am (#)

    Delicious salad,
    Tastes just like cheesecake factory’s version
    Thanks!

  13. Tyler Ratay — February 17, 2014 @ 3:11 pm (#)

    I made this salad today and it was absolutely delicious! It’s the first time I’ve eaten kale raw and actually enjoyed it, so thank you for sharing. I just started a blog called “healthy, fit and happy” on WordPress, and I just had to share your recipe. I also shared the link to your page to give you the credit :)

  14. Racheal — February 26, 2014 @ 1:23 pm (#)

    I made this for dinner last night and it was wonderful! I don’t know how, but we had some leftovers, and they made a wonderful cold lunch. The kale was even still crispy.

    A repeat for sure and probably my go-to pot luck recipe this summer. Thanks Ali!

  15. Sara — March 1, 2014 @ 1:06 pm (#)

    How much honey? You mentioned it in your text but not in the recipe.

    • Ali — July 19, 2014 @ 4:18 pm (#)

      Oops – sorry about that! I corrected the recipe now with honey included. :)

  16. Melinda — March 8, 2014 @ 2:17 pm (#)

    This salad is amazing! I eat it at least once a week.

  17. Melinda — March 8, 2014 @ 2:18 pm (#)

    This salad is amazing! I eat it at least once a week.

  18. Melanie — March 23, 2014 @ 2:26 pm (#)

    How long would this last in the fridge? Does it go soggy or get better?

  19. Lisa — March 23, 2014 @ 2:35 pm (#)

    This is so easy and tastes great. I added some cubed avocado and it tuned out to be an awesome addition. So creamy.

  20. Judy — April 18, 2014 @ 4:00 pm (#)

    Loved it! Massaging the kale was new to me and made a big difference! Tossed with goat cheese made a nice contrast to the sweet cranberries. YUMMY!

  21. Amanda — May 4, 2014 @ 8:41 am (#)

    I loved this salad! I’m always looking for healthy yummy ways to eat kale and this fit the bill! So delicious, thanks for sharing it:)

  22. Leo — July 30, 2014 @ 8:46 pm (#)

    Did you use sweetened dried cranberries (like Ocean Spray) or dried unsweetened cranberries? And if you used unsweetened cranberries, where do you buy it?

    • Ali — July 31, 2014 @ 2:46 am (#)

      I used sweetened dried cranberries, but either would work. :)

  23. Nyibe — October 15, 2014 @ 7:59 am (#)

    I made this salad last night with a little apprehension of eating kale that wasn’t braised or cooked. Let me just say that it was fantastic! I think the massaging of the kale really made a huge difference.

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