Recipes, Savory

September 5, 2018

Warm Balsamic Kale Salad

While everyone is getting excited about pumpkin spice lattes and apple pie, I’m all suited up to make a hearty fall salad that makes a fabulous lunch or dinner. It’s still really hot in Florida, so it’s a little hard to welcome cozy, warm recipes when it’s so toasty outside. Even if it is starting to get chilly where you live, sometimes all you want is a fresh, tasty salad before comfort food is in it’s prime time. Kale is one of those leafy greens people either love or hate, and for all of you kale haters out there, I’m going to share a few of my secrets to making the veggie a bit more tolerable. And no, it’s not just to throw it away and have a donut!

Many people have a love-hate relationship with kale. We love it because it is so nutritious and healthy but we hate it because it tastes a little like tough grass. My method doesn’t involve ‘massaging’ kale in oil until it suddenly tastes good (because who has time for that). All you need to do is sauté your kale pieces in a pain with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil a clove of garlic and chili flakes. If you’ve ever cooked raw broccoli or a sweet potato, raw kale is similar as it can be a bit bitter and chewy. Heating the kale tenderizes the tough fibers and reduces bitterness, and once it is softened the kale takes on delicious flavors.

The warm kale base is topped with mix-ins ranging from roasted root veggies, tart apples, wild rice, dried cranberries, toasted almonds, and feta cheese. Get creative with your ingredients and rely on seasonal fall produce to make a satisfying and healthy meal.




  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Pinch freshly cracked pepper
  • 2 bunches of lacinato kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 honeycrisp apple, diced
  • 1 cup wild rice, cooked
  • 1 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup toasted almonds
For the dressing:
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp minced shallot
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Pinch freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Toss sweet potatoes with 2 tsp of the olive oil, cinnamon, paprika, salt, and pepper. Spread onto one baking sheet and roast 25-20 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  3. Toss kale with other 2 tsp oil and sauté 1-2 minutes until slightly tender.
  4. Meanwhile dice apple.
  5. Whisk together dressing ingredients.
  6. Add kale, sweet potatoes, apple, rice, almonds and feta. Toss with dressing and serve.


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