Warm kale salad with figs

A nice change from cold salads!

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 (30 mL) olive oil, divided
  • 1 shallot or 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 red pepper, sliced
  • 8 cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium bunch kale
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (22.5 mL) balsamic vinegar*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (22.5 mL) olive oil*
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 dried figs, sliced
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) shredded Parmesan

*Note: 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 (1 – 1.2 L) 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).

Serves 4.

Author: Paula Roy

Welcome to my kitchen! I play with words and with food. I love simple dishes prepared with passion and am always seeking to find new methods to make food as fun and flavourful as possible. I'm also an enthusiastic explorer of faraway lands and cuisines.

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