Kale Salad with Pancetta and Fried Parsnip Chips
Well, it’s another lovely day for a salad post!! In this case, a KALE SALAD post!!
Kale makes for one delicious salad, and one happy Heather!! In my humble opinion, a salad made with kale tastes much heartier than a salad made with lighter colored greens. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Italian salad with romaine, or a Greek salad with some butter lettuce…or a BLT salad with some chopped crisp iceburg!!! Can you tell?I HEART SALAD!!!
It is also becoming quite apparent to me that I love lots of exclamation points at the ends of my sentences 🙂 Sorry if this bothers you…but food makes me so happy that a big old exclamation point…or five, really helps to bring my point across!!! haha!!!
LEMON VINAIGRETTE+KALE SALAD=YUM YUM FACTOR
Usually you will find me dressing up my salads in my favorite shallot vinaigrette (you will see this in most of my salad posts) and you know why…IT IS AMAZING!! If you haven’t come across it on my site yet, check out this bistro salad recipe and get aquainted..YOU WILL LOVE IT!!
This here kale salad needed a lemon factor…so what better way to add lemon than a tangy little lemon vinaigrette?? So simple, so quick. I can even picture tossing this lemon vinaigrette with some piping hot fingerling potatoes and adding a bit of chopped parsley and capers.
Don’t waste your money on bottled dressings…MAKE YOUR OWN!!! They taste FAR superior to anything coming in a bottle at the grocery store 🙂 Thank me later…after you make your switch to homemade…I see tasty salads in your future!!!
Kale is one of those greens that benefits from a little TLC before eating…as a salad anyway. What kind of TLC…a little rubdown! Who doesn’t like a little rubdown?? I know I do!! My favorite though is a head rub…am I wrong or is a head rub or head tickle like the bestest of the bestest!! What is up in your scalp that screams AAAAAHHHHHHHH with a little touch of the fingertip…:) Ok, back to kale…I’m gettin’ all worked up here and will probably have to track down Dave for a shoulder rub after this post.
When you massage the kale with some of the vinaigrette for a few minutes, the kale starts to breakdown and wilt a bit. It totally takes on a new flavor…I swear!! It gets even darker and slightly less bitter… AND I LOVE IT!!! No need to crush it between your fingers, a gentle massage is all it needs. Try it…HUGE DIFFERENCE!
Because kale is a bitter green, this kale salad needs a little boost from the sweet and salty department. A balance of flavors and textures equals yummier food! In this case, I am using salty pancetta (Italian style of American bacon), and fried and sweet parsnip chips. By adding some shaved Parmesan (more saltiness), soft creamy egg, and toasted almond slivers (good crunch/texture), the salad is almost finished. Here’s where your lemon vinaigrette comes in to play and really just elevates this salad into the realm of SCRUMPTIOUSNESS !!!!!!!
EATING KALE=EATING A SUPERFOOD=LOTS OF ANTIOXIDANTS
I can imagine this kale salad would be delicious with a cup of quinoa mixed in…or even as a side to Italian meatballs or something. Whatever you use it for, know that you are eating well!! Kale is a superfood and is packed with vitamins and antioxidants, especially since we are eating it in the raw here. When you cook kale is loses a bit of it’s super human strength…but who cares, eating it raw or cooked or whatever is better than eating a fatty burger or something…DON’T GET ME WRONG, I LOVE THOSE TOO 🙂
Here’s to eating your greens!!! I hope you enjoy this little kale salad 🙂
- 5 cups of Kale (ribs removed and chopped)
- 4 oz pancetta, cubed
- 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into thin coins
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup Parmesan, shaved or grated
- 2 soft boiled eggs, chopped
- 1/2 Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated or minced fine
- 1/2 tsp maple syrup
- salt and pepper to taste
- Into a mason jar, combine olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic, maple syrup, S&P to taste. Shake vigorously to combine. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, adding more of any of the ingredients to
- suit your tastes.
- Add 1-2 Tbsp of vinaigrette to a large bowl. Add kale to same bowl and toss to combine. Massage vinaigrette into kale leaves for a couple minutes until kale breaks down. Set aside.
- Add cubed pancetta to a medium hot skillet and cook until browned 2-4 minutes.
- Remove pancetta to a paper towel lined plate and drain all but 1 Tbsp of the pancetta fat.
- Place skillet back on heat and add your parsnip chips. Coat them in the oil and cook until browned and crisp. Drain and remove to paper towel.
- To assemble the salad, add a couple handfuls of kale to each bowl, top with pancetta and parsnips, slivered almonds, shaved Parmesan, and chopped egg. Drizzle with lemon vinaigrette to taste and enjoy!!
- Extra vinaigrette will keep in the fridge for 3 days.