Last updated on January 20, 2023 by Liza Hawkins
This kale salad is full of dried cranberries, sliced red pears, crispy bacon, honey goat cheese and a hint of lime juice, and then topped with glazed honey almonds. A simple homemade honey mustard dressing drizzled on top adds a final sweet and savory note!
Fall is without a doubt my favorite season.
The weather’s cooler, but snow is still a month or two away (hopefully), which means I’m able to don layers and scarves, build roaring fires in the fireplace, and spend plenty of time curled up with a blanket reading or writing. Ahhh…
That time of year is also when family and friend gatherings abound and holiday celebrations dot nearly every weekend on the calendar.
It’s a busy and festive time indeed, and imperative to have a few simple recipes in your back pocket for entertaining with ease.
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Kale is a lovely fall green — delicious sautéed with garlic, salt and pepper in a cast iron skillet, and then steamed in a splash of chicken broth; added to soups, stews or pasta sauces; or, used as the base to a salad that’s able to withstand travel or being set out on a buffet for dinner guests.
It’s also considered a winter green, which means you can find fresh kale at a lot of local farmers’ markets even when the weather’s cold!
The thing about kale is that, unlike lettuce, when it’s eaten raw, it can be kind of tough … unless you know how to break it down a little (which isn’t difficult).
I like to strip the leafy parts off the center stalk and then slice them into ribbons.
Then, I put the ribboned leaves into a big bowl, add a little citrus juice, and massage the leaves with my hand for a minute or so.
This process makes the inherently fibrous kale more tender and less chewy, though it still retains its bite — a reason it makes such a good base for a pot luck salad, or for part of a holiday meal you want to prepare in advance.
Unlike lettuce, kale won’t turn into a soggy mess after it’s been dressed.
Travel for a few hours, save leftovers for lunch the next day (or throughout the week), and let the salad relax on your table for a few hours … it can take the challenge!
Kale Salad With Honey Mustard Dressing
Kale is the perfect base for this cold weather salad, but the stars are what’s incorporated: generous amounts of dried cranberries, sliced pears, honey goat cheese, and crispy bacon.
The pièce de résistance, though, is are the glazed honey almonds sprinkled on top — lots of almond crunch coated in a delicious savory-sweet goodness with hints of Madagascar vanilla bean, sea salt, organic honey and sesame seeds.
Lastly, drizzle a simple homemade honey mustard dressing on top … a wonderful complement to all the other mingling flavors. It’s so easy to make, right in a small mason jar!
This kale salad is topped with a simple homemade honey mustard dressing.
For the salad:
- 1/2 bunch kale leaves, stripped from their stems
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 pear, sliced
- 4-oz goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 6 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
- 4 ounces glazed honey almonds
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
For the salad:
- Slice the kale into ribbons, then put it into a large mixing bowl with the lime juice. Using your hand, massage the kale for a minute to help break down the fibers and make it more tender. Transfer it to a platter.
- Arrange all the other ingredients on top and give it a slight toss. Drizzle the honey mustard dressing on top of the salad, and leave any extra on the table for guests to use as needed.
For the dressing:
- Put all the ingredients in a small mason jar and secure the lid. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds, or until the liquids emulsify.
Store any leftover dressing in the fridge for up to a week.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 304Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 450mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 23gProtein: 6g