Kale Salad with Avocado, Apricots, and Cannellini

October 9, 2012

Kale Salad with Avocado, Apricots, and Cannellini

I remember the first time I saw a version of this salad posted on theKitchn. It looked so tasty that I had to A) figure out what it was (because it was in a generic post and didn’t link to the recipe), and B) make and consume it right away. A quick google image search helped me confirm the ingredients, and off to my garden I went to harvest some kale.

Yes, during some seasons I’m lucky enough to not only have the kale growing in my backyard, but avocados growing in the front. And the other ingredients – cannellini, dried apricots, parmesan, and vinaigrette – are staples in my house. Even when these items are not in season, a quick stop by the store, 5 – 10 minutes of prep time, and I’m eating this hearty, healthy salad in no time.

I will have to say, this salad doesn’t skimp on the calories (nor does it go overboard). Typically when I eat a vegetarian salad I’m hungry again soon, whether because I’m not satisfied by the textures and flavors, or because I’m just not getting enough to eat. However, the creaminess of the avocado and the beans with the crunch of the kale lends this salad a great texture, and the sweetness of the apricots matched with the slight tang of the vinaigrette will delight your tastebuds. Oh, and did I mention this salad has over 24 grams of fiber, which is nearly the recommended daily amount for women? Well, it does, and once I’m finished with this salad, I’ve got enough energy to last until a late dinner.

Kale Salad with Avocado, Apricots, and Cannellini
Makes 1 salad

1/2 bunch kale (I prefer Lacinato or Russian Red)
Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
1/2 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (I prefer low sodium)
7 dried apricots, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 avocado, cubed
Flakes of parmigiano reggiano
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Cut the kale leaves into 1/2 inch strips, removing any large pieces of stem that may be in the leaves. Place in a bowl and drizzle with half the vinaigrette, stirring/tossing to combine. Top the kale with the cannellini beans, apricots, avocado, and parmigiano flakes. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette.

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (white wine or apple cider vinegars can be substituted)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Add olive oil and vinegar to a lidded jar, and season with salt and pepper. Place the lid on the jar and shake until the mixture emulsifies.

I’ve often taken this salad to work and even once on a picnic! My suggestion is to make the vinaigrette as instructed, perhaps with more salt and pepper, and pack the jar in your lunch bag. Slice the kale and place it in a ziploc baggie with a paper towel. Place the apricot, beans, and parmesan in their own separate baggies. Take a knife to slice the avocado when you are composing the salad.

When you’re ready to eat, remove the paper towel from the kale, and add half the vinaigrette. Close the ziploc and shake to distribute the dressing. Place kale in a bowl or on a plate, and top with the other ingredients (including freshly cubed avocado). Drizzle with dressing and eat!

Dairy free and vegan alternatives: Omit the parmigiano reggiano flakes from the recipe.

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