Crispy Kale Salad With Beets, Walnuts & Honey Vinaigrette

Last winter me and my darling mom had one of those lovely dates where you spontaneously decides on grabbing a delicious lunch accompanied by a movie  and coffee – one of the big plusses of living in the same city as your parents. The memory of the movie is long gone and I bet the coffee was great, but the lunch, oh wow, that’s one I haven’t forgot.
I still remember the cripsy, sweet and yet salty kale filled with flavour. It was the very first time I tasted kale like that, and I was surprised how delicate the texture was compared to the normally quite coarse and chewy raw kale. But this was not the only thing new to me, the salad also presented me with yellow beets, an alternative to the beetroot which is the one normally used. But yellow beets are quite different, they still offers you the sweetness that we know from beetroot, but the characteristic earthy taste isn’t there and they are more delicate and humble in their flavour. Perfect to incorporate in a salad like this, where you wanna be able to taste all of the seasonal ingredients without having one dominating the others.

I have been dreaming of this salad ever since that day, and since it yet again has become season for beets and kale, YAY, I decided it was time to make my own version of it. I have actually been wondering a lot about how to prepare the beets, and I wasn’t sure how to do this in the best way. I knew I would have to bake them, but I was afraid they would become to dry and lose some of their flavour. But luckily Sara B. from My New Roots presented me with the answer in  this recipe, wonder if she has had the same salad as me 😉 Wrap them in foil and bake them, this will maintain their structure, flavour and keep them moist and almost caramelised.
Further more I added roasted walnuts, cheese, a honey vinaigrette and the recipe was born. The first time I made it I felt like it could use a bit more structure, since the kale crisps are filling up a lot of space on the plate without too much density. So the next time I added some raw, finely chopped kale as well, and this made the trick, bum, the salad was as good as I remembered and I have already made it three days in a row and I will probably have it again today.

Bonus info: Kale is very healthy and in season right now! It is a great source of calcium, vitamins (especially K and C), beta carotene and it contains iron. It is relatively high in fibres (6,2 g pr 100 g) which is really important in order to maintain a healthy digestion and prevent diseases as bowl cancer. Further more it contain 45  different flavonoids with a variety of antioxidant and which have an anti-inflammatory effects, cool right!

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Kale salad with yellow beets and walnuts
Serves 4

A big bunch of kale, about 16 leaves
6 medium sized yellow beets, or another colour if your prefer those
3/4 / 75 g cup walnuts
3 oz / 75 g semi firm cheese, e.g. prima donna, manchego, gruyere, or one of your own choice
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
1/2 tsp hot chili powder

Honey vinaigrette
3 Tbsp oil, olive oil, rapeseed oil or sunflower oil
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
Salt & Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 °F / 200 °C.
2. Rinse and trim ends of beets and wrap them in foil, place them on parchment covered baking stone and place in the oven for approximately 1 hour, until at sharp knife easily cuts through.
3. Meanwhile rinse and dry the kale leaves. Grab 6 of them, remove leaves from stock and use a sharp knife (or a food processor) to chop them very finely. Use the rest of the leaves to make kale chips. Tore leaves from stock in pieces and place on a parchment covered baking stone, you might need two. Drizzle them with olive oil (approx. 1 Tbsp pr portion), chili powder, salt and pepper. Watch out for too much salt… Use your hands to massage the oil and spices into the leaves, and make sure they are spread out in only one layer.
4. When beets are done, turn down oven to approximately 300 F °/150 °C. Place kale in oven for approximately 15-20 min, and watch them like a hawk, they burn sooo easily. Give them a little spin half way through and switch positions in the oven, making sure they are not burning on either sides, and at the same time place the walnuts in the oven with the kale and give them a little roasting.
5. Remove foil form beets, gently use a knife to peel the beets and cut them into slices or slim boats
6. Make the vinaigrette by whisking all of the ingredients together.
7. Arrange the salad by adding raw chopped kale, beets and a couple of tsp vinaigrette and mix together. then add kale chips, walnuts, cheese and gently fold together a couple of times, top with a tsp vinaigrette and a few nut crumbs.

Serve with warm wholegrain bread (or my muesli buns which will be posted next) and cold butter, enjoy.

Tip. You can also just eat the kale crisps as they are as a snack. Just add a tsp honey before baking them, and voil!