Here’s a great recipe for the delicious local kale from Green Wagon Farm. It’s loaded with mouth-watering elements filled with crunch, sweet, tart and a little warmth to the palate. It may seem like a little bit of work for a salad, but trust me it is worth it. I would even say this salad is Thanksgiving Day worthy. Seeing as though we are about 4 weeks out (way hard to believe…wow), now would be the time to try it out and then fluff up your order the week of Thanksgiving! Delegate this salad to your daughter or sister the day of gathering.
The nice thing about this salad is that you can make a few things ahead of time…1) Candied Pecans 2) Crispy Pancetta 3) Caper Vinaigrette
FUN FACT: Capers, what are capers you ask? The caper bush is a perennial winter-deciduous plant that bears rounded, fleshy leaves. The plant is best knows for the edible flower buds (capers) used as a seasoning, and the fruit, both of which are consumed pickled. The caper is a delicious addition to seafood dishes, pastas, sauces and other salad recipes.
Kale and Apple Salad with Pancetta and Candied Pecans
- 2 cups of pecans
- 1/2 cup powedered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 ounce thickly sliced pancetta, finely diced
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons caper brine
- 3 tablespoon(s) pure maple syrup
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 apples, cut into matchsticks
- 1 head(s) large radicchio, shredded
- 1 ounce (8-ounce) bunch kale, stems discarded, leaves finely shredded
- 3 snipped chives
- 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
- 2 ounces shaved pecorino
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, cover the pecans with water. Transfer to a sieve and shake out the water. In another bowl, whisk the confectioners’ sugar, cayenne, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Add the pecans and toss. Transfer to a sieve and shake off the excess coating. Arrange the pecans on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the sugar is lightly caramelized and the pecans are golden.
In a skillet, heat the oil with the pancetta and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the pancetta is browned, 6 minutes. Strain the pan drippings into a large bowl; whisk in the vinegar, caper brine, and maple syrup and season the dressing with salt and black pepper. Add the apples, radicchio, kale, chives, tarragon, and pecorino and toss. Mound the salad on plates, garnish with the pecans and pancetta, and serve.