Recipes

Kale Salad with Pomegranate and Maple-Glazed Carrots

For an easy and healthy holiday side dish, look no further than this make-ahead massaged kale salad that epitomizes the season.

By Rhoda Boone
Dec 9, 2022
kale salad
45 Minutes
6 - 8 Servings
Easy

Holiday meals are often very beige, and the season’s vibrant produce relegated to the proverbial (sometimes literal) back burner. This make-ahead massaged kale salad upends that with bright colors and vibrant flavors that celebrate the season. To minimize stress, prepare the salad components ahead of time so you can assemble and dress just before sitting down to eat.

The seared and glazed carrots add a pleasant texture and sweetness, and the arils (the technical name for pomegranate “seeds”) can be purchased pre-shucked from the grocery store or excavated yourself from a whole ripe pomegranate. In a Serving Bowl at room temperature, the finished salad will hold up for a while until you’re ready to serve.

Kale Salad with Pomegranate and Maple-Glazed Carrots

For an easy and healthy holiday side dish, look no further than this make-ahead massaged kale salad that epitomizes the season.

Rhoda Boone

45 Minutes
6 - 8 Servings
Easy
Ingredients
  • For the dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • For the glazed carrots
  • 3 medium carrots (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • For the salad:
  • 2-8 ounce bunches curly or lacinato kale (red or green)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces plain goat cheese, crumbled (about ⅓ cup)
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves
  • ¼ cup pomegranate arils
  • ¼ cup roasted, salted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
Instructions
    1.

    Make the dressing: Combine lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl; whisk to combine. Slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking until dressing is emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning.

    2.

    Make the maple-glazed carrots: Peel carrots and use a Chef Knife to cut in half lengthwise, then again crosswise into 1 ½-inch pieces. If pieces are large, cut again lengthwise into quarters. Heat a large Stainless or Carbon Steel Frying Pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add carrots and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned on all sides and tender, 4–5 minutes. Sprinkle with cumin and stir, toasting the cumin for about 30 seconds. Add butter then maple syrup to pan and toss to coat. Allow to reduce, about 2 minutes. Carefully taste and adjust seasoning. Transfer to a small plate to cool slightly.

    3.

    Assemble the salad: Strip leaves off kale stems and cut with a Chef Knife or tear into bite-size pieces. Place kale in a large Serving Bowl. Add lemon juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Use your hands to massage lemon juice and olive oil into the greens, about a minute or so. The greens should wilt slightly and take on a deep green color.

    4.

    Add dressing, a few tablespoons at a time, tossing and tasting to see if you want more. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Top with goat cheese, parsley leaves, pomegranate arils, seeds, and maple-glazed carrots and toss to combine.

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