Kale, Apple, & Pancetta Salad w/ Candied Pecans

Welly well well, I can officially file this salad under “Things I’m Currently Obsessed With”. I am not a huge salad fan, as I tend to get into salad-ruts and make the same thing for a few weeks straight. I’d much rather post paleo chicken pot pies and desserts every day.

BUUUUT, we went apple picking this weekend and also picked a bunch of fresh spinach, kale, swiss chard, broccoli, and beets… and pumpkins! FUN! (My idea of fun: Picking a bunch of veggies that spoil faster than usual and quickly having to develop 8 recipes with those ingredients… what can I say, I’m a masochist.)

When we get home, I decide to begin writing my recipe plans for each & every freshly plucked leaf, floret, fruit, and root. I had recently told my mom while eating at my parent’s house, that I would never turn down a salad with bacon (or in this case, pancetta). It lends a savory and smoky flavor that you just can’t achieve any other way. After remembering that conversation, I knew what needed to be done. I had a bunch of kale, a BUNCH of apples, and frozen cubed pancetta. Of course, a hearty leaf like kale is just begging for a crunchy element and a salad with apples just wouldn’t be complete without candied pecans. #candiedpecansalldayeveryday

While the old me would’ve protested the mere name of this salad, the new & improved me REJOICES at the name. I used to be able to eat an entire meal consisting of cheese & cured meats (I still could) and be totally content with my body shutting dow via overexercised sweat glands, swollen chins, bloated belly, and subsequent collapsing-of-body. (okay, I wasn’t THAT gross, I just wouldn’t have eaten a kale salad.) The new me is all about that kale, and the end result is a sweet, salty, smoky, tangy, perfectly balanced salad. Delicious.


Kale, Apple, & Pancetta Salad w/ 5-Minute Candied Pecans & Creamy Dijon-Poppyseed Vinaigrette

Kale, Apple, & Pancetta Salad w/ 5-Minute Candied Pecans & Creamy Dijon-Poppyseed Vinaigrette


    For Salad:
  • 6 cups lightly packed torn kale leaves, washed & dried
  • 2 apples, cut into matchsticks & tossed in 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 12 oz. cubed pancetta, cooked until crisp & drained on paper towels
  • For 5-Minute Candied Pecans:
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 3 tbsp maple (or coconut) sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • For Creamy Dijon-Poppyseed Vinaigrette:
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp poppyseeds (opt)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp each garlic & onion powder (opt)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


    For Pecans:
  1. Prepare parchment lined baking sheet & two spatulas.
  2. Melt 1 tbsp butter over med heat. Whisk in maple sugar & honey until bubbling & thickened/caramelized - about 2-3 mins max. Immediately add pecans and whisk until evenly coated.
  3. Immediately pour caramelized pecans onto parchment tray and individually separate each pecan using two spatulas. Sprinkle & toss with sea salt.
  4. For Dressing:
  5. Whisk all ingredients together and set aside.
  6. For Salad Assembly:
  7. Add torn kale leaves to large bowl. Top with apples & pancetta, then, pour dressing over top. Gently toss and sprinkle candied pecans over top.
  8. Enjoy!


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