Who says salads have to be crisp and cold? Perfect for fall and winter, this warm salad has a subtle flavour, offering both sweet and sour along with barely wilted kale and sautéed vegetables. I like plating individual portions rather than serving it out of a big bowl so that all the toppings are divided evenly. A plated salad looks prettier too.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 shallot or ½ small onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 red pepper, sliced
- 8 cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 medium bunch kale
- 1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar *
- 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil *
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 dried figs, sliced
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan
* If you like a little bit of heat, consider using a spicy olive oil or a chili-flavoured balsamic.
- Wash kale and spin or pat dry. Remove tough stems and slice kale thinly (as you would do with cabbage to make coleslaw). You want 4 – 5 cups of shredded kale.
- Put shredded kale in a bowl and drizzle with balsamic and olive oil. With your hands, massage the dressing in the kale. This will help tenderize it. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the shallot, garlic and red pepper; sauté, stirring, for several minutes until softened. Transfer to a small bowl.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the now-empty skillet; add sliced mushrooms and cook them over medium-high heat for several minutes, stirring, until browned. Transfer to another small bowl.
- Add the kale to the skillet and sauté over medium heat, stirring often, for 2 – 3 minutes until it is just beginning to soften. Taste and add salt and pepper to your liking.
- Divide the cooked kale among four plates or shallow bowls. Top with onion, peppers and mushrooms. Scatter fig slices over top and garnish with Parmesan (omit the cheese if making for vegans).