Cozy Autumn Kale Salad

Cozy Autumn Kale Salad
Print Recipe
  • 1 cup dried quinoa
  • 2 bunches lacinato kale destemmed and chopped into 1-2 in. pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups dried figs
  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 clove large garlic roughly chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  1. Rinse in a fine-meshed strainer under cold water until water runs clear (approximately 1 minute).
  2. Drain and transfer to a medium-sized (2 quart) pot. Add two cups cold water and ½ teaspoon salt and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce to simmer and turn down to medium-low heat. Cover and simmer until water is absorbed, approximately 18 minutes (check quickly at 15).
  4. Remove from heat and allow to sit, covered, for another 5 minutes. Remove cover and fluff with a fork. Keep refrigerated until use.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grab 2-3 large baking sheets.
  2. Rinse kale and de-stem by pulling the leaves off in pieces. The pieces can be rough in shape, approximately 3-5 minutes.
  3. Toss kale onto baking sheets and bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until kale is soft and wilted but not brown. I had do two rounds of baking kale because I didn't have enough space in the oven.
  4. Remove kale from baking sheets and place on a cutting board to cool for a few minutes.
  5. Once cooled, bunch kale together and slice into ¼ inch thick slices.
Figs & Hazelnuts: 
  1. Slice figs in half lengthwise. Line two baking sheets with nonstick parchment paper. Add hazelnuts to one baking pan, dried figs to another. Keep fig slices from overlapping.
  2. Place hazelnuts and figs in the oven. Bake hazelnuts for 10-12 minutes or until fragrant with dark brown skins. Immediately empty into a heat-proof dish.
  3. When hazelnuts have cool, wrap them tightly in a dish towel and rub them together to remove the skins. Not all will come off and that’s ok! Place hazelnuts in a food processor and pulse several times.
  4. Allow figs to roast for 25 minutes or until the edges have started to caramelize and bubble. Set aside to cool.
Vinaigrette and Assembly
  1. Combine white balsamic through ground ginger in a blender and puree until smooth and emulsified.
  2. In a large bowl, combine kale, quinoa, ¾ cup hazelnuts and all of the figs.  Add ½ cup vinaigrette and toss to coat.
  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Before serving, toss with remaining hazelnuts and vinaigrette.
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