A favorite among my blog readers, as well as my personal guests, I developed this recipe after falling in love with a cranberry kale salad at Whole Foods. I have found it to be a perfect dish to share during the holidays (red and green!), at spring luncheons, BBQs, book club meetings, dinner parties, any time of year, and for just about any occasion. Best of all, the ingredients are AMAZING for you!
Notes on Kale: Loaded with antioxidents, vitamins K, A, and C, and containing just 36 calories per serving, there’s no doubt kale is dieters’ BFF. Researchers are also finding that by activating detoxifying enzymes in the liver, kale also helps neutralize potentially carcinogenic substances, thus lessening the occurrence of several types of cancer, including breast and ovarian!
Notes on Cranberries: Known for fighting bacterial infections, cardiovascular benefits, immune system strengthening, and anti-cancer properties. Dried cranberries are even suspected of helping fight tooth decay!
Notes on Pine Nuts: Surprisingly, the teeny tiny pine nut is a potent appetite suppressant. They are also packed with protein, fiber and monounsaturated fats (the heart-healthy, “good fat”). Pine nuts are also high in antioxidants which help to protect the cells of your body from free radical damage.
- 2 bunches of kale
- ¼ cup of pine nuts
- ¼ cup of dried cranberries
- 2 Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil (garlic or herb-infused oils may also work great for extra flavor)
- 2 Tablespoons of aged balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon of sea salt, plus more to taste freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼ pound of feta cheese, crumbled, to garnish (optional)
- Soak cranberries in about a half a cup of boiling water to soften (10-15 minutes)
- Wash and dry the kale, remove stems, and using a sharp knife, chop into bite-size pieces. You can also chop the kale using a food processor to save time.
- Briefly steam the kale until the leaves turn bright green, texture should be softened, but still crisp
- Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in a skillet
- Allow both the kale and the pine nuts to cool while draining the cranberries
- Combine kale, pine nuts, cranberries, olive oil, balsamic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, toss to coat.
- Top with crumbled feta if you wish, and serve
*Note: My friend Marissa made this recipe in a hurry, so instead of steaming the kale, she tossed it with about 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice about 10 minutes before adding the remaining ingredients. The acid from the juice breaks down and softens the kale.