Baby Kale Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Spicy Candied Pecans
This baby kale salad is massaged until it's tender then topped with juicy pomegranate and sweet and spicy pecans. It's like candy, only good for you. It's a great side dish for your holiday table.
This baby kale salad tastes like candy.
No, we're not trying to trick you into eating your veggies. But with all the spicy-sweet candied pecans and sweet and slightly sour pomegranate seeds, the kale is really just a vehicle to help get more of these in your mouth.
READ MORE: BEST Kale Salad Dressing
What is baby kale?
Baby kale is simply tender, young, kale leaves. You can eat the whole leaf without having to remove the stem as it is still very delicate.
The flavor is milder than fully grown kale, which makes it a good choice if you don't love kale.
You'll often find it sold in packages near the salad greens in the produce section of your grocery store.
Can I use regular kale instead?
Yes! But you will have to remove the stem and chop the leaves first.
And don't skip massaging the kale; it's extra important with fully grown kale. You can also let the dressing sit on the kale leaves for 10 minutes before you eat them, to help soften them even more.
Question: How do you get the pomegranate seeds out of a pomegranate? Do you have any super tricks you'd like to share? Our method involves 15 frustrating minutes at the kitchen counter, and a whole bunch of pomegranate juice sprayed everywhere. There must be a better way. If you've got one, can you share it in the comments?
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This baby kale salad is massaged until the kale is super tender then topped with pomegranate seeds and sweet and spicy pecans. You will love it!
FOR THE SPICY CANDIED PECANS:
- 1 cup pecans
- 2–4 tablespoons maple syrup (I used 4 for the pecans in the pictures)
- A pinch of sea salt, fresh cracked pepper and cayenne powder
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon butter (or butter substitute, for vegan)
FOR THE SALAD DRESSING:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- A pinch of sea salt
FOR THE SALAD:
- 4 cups baby kale, packed
- Seeds from 1 pomegranate
- Black pepper, to serve
- Toast the pecans in a frying pan over medium heat until fragrant and light brown, about 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn them. Add the maple syrup, salt, pepper, and cayenne powder. Cook, stirring frequently until the pan is dry, about 2-3 minutes. Stir through the optional butter, if using.
- Place pecans on a piece of parchment paper in a single layer and set aside to cool.
- In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients. Pour the dressing over the kale and massage it gently. Plate the salad and top with the candied pecans, pomegranate seeds and some fresh cracked pepper.