Winter Kale Salad is full of juicy pears, crunchy pecans, tart pomegranate arils, and a creamy vegan maple tahini dressing. A perfect festive holiday side recipe!
I have extremely high standards when it comes to salad.
Even this veggie lover happily passes on any and every limp and lackluster house salad in sight.
I want my salads to have multiple textures and layers of flavor. And when a salad hits all these marks, it goes from zero to hero.This Winter Kale salad is running laps around boring salads everywhere. Namely because it is loaded with these super ingredients:
- Kale: love it or hate it this sturdy green can stand up to a hefty helping of toppings and creamy dressing. It gets massaged to break down the tough fibers that can make you feel like you are a rabbit in a vegetable patch.
- Pears: thinly sliced and bursting with juicy sweet fruit flavor
- Pecans: a crunchy and nutty way to bring the texture along with some healthy fats, too
- Scallions: A soft and mild onion flavor which is the perfect compliment to the sweet fruit
Then a the Creamy Maple Tahini Dressing ties everything together.
It is creamy (without dairy!), nutty thanks to the tahini, sweet from a pour of maple, zingy from some apple cider vinegar, and has a salty umami kick from some white miso.
The moral of the story is that this dressing is GREAT on everything, but it especially makes this Winter Kale Salad one for the books.
One slightly quirky note on the dressing. When tahini is combined with liquid it goes from a smooth and creamy nut butter consistancy to a thick and gloppy mess. The trick to combatting this sticky situation is to add an ice cube and some ice water to the dressing.
As the ice cube and ice water combine with the dressing they take the tahini from thick to silky smooth and pourable. So don’t ice the ice.
This salad is proof that eating healthy can be delicious! Kale serves as a bed for freshly sliced pears, juicy pomegranate seeds, and crunchy pecans. Drizzled on top is a deliciously creamy dressing flavored with maple syrup and tahini.
For the salad:
- 2 bunches kale, destemmed and torn into bite sized pieces
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 pears, thinly sliced
- 1 cup roughly chopped pecans
- 5 scallions, sliced on a bias
- 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
For the dressing:
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 ice cube and 1 tablespoon ice water
- 1 tablespoon mellow white miso
- 2 tablespoons minced shallot
- 1 clove garlic, minced)
- Pinch salt
- Add all the dressing ingredient into a bowl and whisk until the ice melts and everything is well combined. Tahini tends to get thick and gloopy when combined with room temperature water, but ice water makes for a creamy dressing with the perfect pourable consistancy.
- Add your kale to a large bowl along with the lemon and a pinch of salt and pepper. Massage the kale with your hands until it has softened, about 3 minutes.
- Pour the dressing over the kale and add in the remaining ingredients. Toss well and serve. Store leftovers in the fridge for 1-2 days.
- Serving Size: 1/4 recipe
- Calories: 362
- Sugar: 19g
- Sodium: 298mg
- Fat: 21g
- Saturated Fat: 3g
- Carbohydrates: 42g
- Fiber: 8g
- Protein: 7g
Keywords: pear, pomegranate, pecan, scallion, tahini, maple, dressing, lemon, miso, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, paleo, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free option, raw, vegan, vegetarian