This Autumn Salad of kale and warm honey mustard vinaigrette with sweet potatoes, dried cranberries and toasted pumpkin seeds is the perfect salad for parties and potlucks.
I have brought this salad to parties at least ten times, and it’s always the first to go and the star of the table. I’ve seen cupcakes, cookies and other foods have to go back home, but never this salad. No matter how large of a bowl I bring, there is never enough.
This is a perfect potluck salad because you can have everything ready within twenty minutes in the morning, and then put it all together with the dressing about 3-4 hours in advance. The marination massages the kale, and brings it to a place that is very different than what most people think.
People will appreciate seeing a green sitting on the table that is gorgeous, appetizing and satisfying. It might make them feel better about the dips and chips and sweets they are also eating, and for those who are into that paleo craze, they will stop and thank you.
This is that perfect salad for this time of year, whether it’s a tail gating party, Halloween, or Thanksgiving, because you dress the salad at least two hours in advance. At Christmas, you can just add in some pomegranate seeds. I’ve learned that while people love the cookies and treats at a Holiday party, they are so grateful to see a good salad.
I used sweet potatoes, but you can use butternut squash.
I used toasted pumpkin seeds, but you can use toasted pecans, almonds or walnuts.
Add in some chopped up crispy pancetta or bacon. You can even add in chicken strips for a complete meal.
I used a warm honey mustard vinaigrette that can be made with honey or maple syrup. Either works incredibly well. If you don’t have time to dress the salad ahead, warm the dressing. It will relax the kale. Also add the pumpkin seeds and sweet potatoes when they are hot. Kale can handle this.
The KEY to this salad is to taste it before serving, make sure it’s seasoned with enough salt and pepper.
In fact, if there is salad left over, just refrigerate and heat up in microwave or saute the left overs in a pan. It takes on a slightly different melted down texture, but still remains somewhat structured and it’s very good. The only thing I would not add to this salad is cheese, which I think would drown the nice flavors the sweet potato brings.
The dressing is sweetened by either honey or maple syrup to offset the heavy dose of vinegar and the punch of mustard, but it is so good. It’s going to taste a bit vinegary when you taste it, but that does settle down as the kale takes hold of it.
This particular kale salad is similar to the one I made here, but I gave it an Autumn twist.
Tell me, do you take salads to parties? Are you ready for the Fall flavors?
If you really love kale salads, you might want to try this Tuscan Kale Salad with a lemony dressing.
- 2 bunches lacinato kale (the long skinny kind aka Tuscan kale)
- roasted sweet pototoes
- 1 small apple or pear
- 2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- Warmed Cider Vinaigrette
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled, cubed or one large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- dash cinnamon
- dash nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon tumeric (optional)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or honey)
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 12 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Wash and dry kale.
- Remove ribs from kale. I used a sharp knife to cut out the ribs.
- Cut kale into bite size pieces.
- Slice apple and pear into thin slices, leaving skin on, or cube, whichever you prefer.
- Add in just enough dressing to salad to wet the leaves. Save some of the dressing to add in warm right before serving. At that point, I'll warm up the dressing in the microwave.
- Add warmed roasted sweet potatoes, cranberries and pumpkin seeds, saving some of each for top of bowl. Gently toss so as to not break up sweet potatoes.
- Season with salt the pepper.
- Mix olive oil with cayenne, cinnamon, maple syrup, nutmeg. Toss potatoes in this oil, using just enough to wet potatoes.
- Roast for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees, until potatoes are soft, but still firm.
- You can toast the pumpkin seeds at this time. They only take 5 minutes.
- Put all the ingredients in blender and blend until thoroughly emulsified. If using a Vitamix put the garlic clove in whole. If using a blender, dice the garlic first.
More Kale Recipes from Spinach Tiger