I feel like I need to start by telling you that I really do believe that the title of this post is justified. I know that ‘the best’ is, like, a little out there. Boastful even. The thing is that at least a few times a week my dinner consists of a giant salad, 99.99% of the time a kale salad. And of the 1.24 billion (ish) kale salads that I’ve made, this one is, without any doubt, the best I’ve made. It still holds that status even when I add in all the kale salads I’ve ordered in restaurants.
I’m starting to think kale might play too big a role in my life. Or not.
The first time I made this it was really a ‘throw everything that’s in the fridge into the salad bowl’ kinda dinner. It rocked my world. Even the handsome man said it was the best salad he’s ever had.
I’ve made it a few times since and loved it each time.
The thing is it has basically every flavour and texture there is so it’s impossible not to love.
There’s creamy avocado, salty bacon, crunchy toasted pecans, bitter chewy kale, sweet dressing and caramelized onions and tart tomatoes. I think my favourite part is how the avocado coats everything in an almost cheese like creaminess. And the caramelized onions. The sweet, delicious caramelized onions.
Or wait. What am I talking about? My favourite part is obviously the bacon. Bacon.
More seriously though it is how every bite seems to have a bit of everything that I love. Every good thing in each mouthful. ♥♥♥
I’d love to hear what you guys think of the salad if you make it. I know ‘the best’ is highly personal and my fingers are crossed that you and I have similar tastes. I’m thinking that if it’s not your first time here then there’s a good possibility that we like at least some of the same things. Hope you love it as much as I do!
If you make The Best Kale Salad (ever!), make sure to snap a pic and tag @theendlessmeal on Instagram so I can like and comment on your photos. I love seeing TEM recipes you create.
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (or sub apple cider vinegar)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 small shallot, very finely minced
- 1 small garlic cloves, very finely minced
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ cup pecans
- 4 strips of bacon
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cups curly kale, packed, washed and torn into bite sized pieces, from about 4 stalks
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 1 ripe avocado, chopped
- 2 hand fully of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- In a medium sized bowl whisk together the white balsamic, honey, dijon mustard, shallot and garlic. Slowly whisk in the oil in a slow and steady stream. Whisking the oil in slowly will help it to emulsify and become creamy. Season the dressing lightly with a pinch of sea salt and a few cranks of fresh cracked pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 375. Place the pecans on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 6-7 minutes, or until they are light brown and fragrant. Watch them carefully as they burn easily.
- Cut the bacon into 1 inch rashers. Place the rashers into a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry the bacon for 7-8 minutes, or until it is crispy but not burnt. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and, using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the pan. Remove all but 2 teaspoons of bacon fat from the pan Reserve the bacon fat for another recipe - like this one.
- Add the thinly sliced onions to the pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, for 10-12 minutes, or until they are quite soft and light brown.
- Add the kale, pecans, bacon, caramelized onions, carrot, avocado and cherry tomatoes to a large bowl. Toss with the dressing and serve immediately.