Kale Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese
I’m happy to report that I have been eating so much kale this summer.
Like, so much.
I wish I could say it’s because I have been craving those ultra-good-for-you dark greens every day. But really, it’s mainly thanks to my friend and talented veggie farmer, SiSi, who has been sending me home with an enormous bundle of kale in my CSA bag each week. She even planted a big section of organic dinosaur kale in her garden for the first time this year, after I mentioned once that it was my favorite (<– so thoughtful!). So all of those kale salads feel extra special, knowing that each leaf was literally grown from seed and tended and harvested by this sweet friend. Yet one more way that I love how food connects us!
That said, though, after eating so many ultra-healthy salads, I must admit that a package of bacon and blue cheese somehow “jumped” in my grocery cart the other day at the store. Not sure how that happened, but I was more than happy to come home and toss them into a slightly more — shall we say — indulgent kale salad. And I enjoyed every last bite. :)
The ingredients in this one are totally simple. Just chop up a ton of fresh kale (I used a mixture of SiSi’s “dinosaur”/lacinato kale and some traditional curly leaf kale), then use your hands to massage it with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil for a minute to soften the kale up. Add in a good handful of crumbled blue cheese, crumbled cooked bacon, dried cranberries, and toasted pecans.
Then drizzle it with this heavenly red wine shallot dressing that I’m obsessed with lately. It’s made with a fresh shallot, some red wine vinegar, Dijon, honey, S & P, and olive oil.
Although by contrast with yesterday’s grilled recipe, which was made with Bertolli® 100% Pure Olive Oil (which has a high smoke point and is safe for grilling), I made this salad dressing with Bertolli® Extra Virgin Olive Oil (which has a lower smoke point, and is cold-pressed for a more full-bodied fruity flavor, intended for lower-heat or no-cook recipes). I’m trying to get better at using the right oils with the right recipes. And I’m telling you, this vinaigrette is yummy.
So once you dress the salad, just toss everything together until it’s evenly mixed.
And then maybe sprinkle on a little bit of extra bacon and blue cheese, just for good measure. (Kale yeah!)
Then this wonderfully delicious salad will be yours to enjoy right away. Or, if you’re entertaining or have a busy day and would like to make this salad in advance, that sturdy kale will help it hold for up to 8 hours if you’d like to pop it in the fridge ahead of time.
For other fresh summer recipe inspiration, be sure to check out Bertolli’s “Spin The Bottle” site where all sorts of other tasty dishes (along with their correct olive oils!) are being featured right now. I have a feeling you’ll find many more recipes you’ll love.
Kale Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese
This Kale Salad with Bacon and Blue Cheese is quick and easy to make, packed with sweet and savory flavors, and so delicious!
Kale Salad Ingredients:
- 6-7 cups chopped fresh kale leaves
- 1 tablespoon Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 6-8 slices cooked bacon, chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans
- 1 batch Red Wine Shallot Vinaigrette (below)
Red Wine Shallot Vinaigrette Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1-2 teaspoons honey, to taste
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- pinch of salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
- 1 small shallot, peeled and finely-chopped
To Make The Kale Salad:
- Toss all ingredients together until combined.
- Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours before serving.
To Make The Red Wine Shallot Vinaigrette:
- Whisk the olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper together in a mixing bowl until completely combined. (Or you can toss everything in a mason jar and give it a good shake.) Stir in the shallot until combined. Taste, and season with extra salt and/or pepper and/or honey, if needed.
Serving size totally depends on whether this is your main course or a side salad. The serving size I mentioned is for smaller side salads.
Also, feel free to use more/less of the salad ingredients (i.e. bacon, blue cheese, pecans, cranberries) to taste. I tend to just use a handful of each.
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!
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