What Makes This Special: This salad has got all the things I love: hearty kale (which only becomes more tender and flavorful the longer it sits in the honey-mustard dressing), juicy red pomegranate seeds, salty feta cheese, slivers of mild red onion, and toasted nuts. It’s easy to prepare, and perfect for making ahead (up to 8 hours – that’s helpful!)
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Recipe source: Well Plated by Erin
- 1/2 cup pecan halves
- 1/2 small red onion
- 10 ounces kale, stems removed and chopped into ribbons (if using bagged, pre-cut kale, use 8 ounces)
- 1 small pomegranate (to yield 1/2 cup seeds)
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spread the pecans on an ungreased baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 5-10 minutes, tossing once or twice throughout, until toasted and fragrant. Watch carefully and set a timer so that the nuts do not burn. Remove from the baking sheet and set aside.
- Slice the onion thinly and place in a small bowl. Cover with cold tap water and set aside for 10 minutes while you finish preparing the rest of the salad (this will keep the onion's flavor but prevent the onion from having such a harsh, raw bite.) Drain the onion and lightly pat dry.
- There are several methods for de-seeding a pomegranate. I like using the underwater method (see video), or you can purchase the seeds (or arils) ready for use, or this method works as well:
- Slice the pomegranate in half across its "equator" (NOT top to bottom). Working one half at a time, turn the pomegranate over an empty bowl, cut side down, and squeeze it gently all the way around to loosen the seeds. With the back of a wooden spoon, firmly wrap the back of the pomegranate, knocking the seeds into the bowl (be careful—the juice can splatter). Rotate the pomegranate then repeat, so that you tap it all the way around and knock out as many seeds as possible. Slice the pomegranate into big wedges and remove any seeds you missed with your fingers. Repeat with the second half.
- Measure out 1/2 cup of the seeds for the recipe, then save the rest for a different use.
- In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together all the dressing ingredients, or you can shake all of the ingredients together in a tightly sealed mason jar.
- Place the kale and onion slices in a large serving bowl. Pour the dressing over the top. Toss to coat, then let the salad rest in the refrigerator for a minimum of 20 minutes and up to 8 hours (the flavors will meld and the kale will become more tender). Just before serving, sprinkle with the toasted pecans, pomegranate seeds, feta, and parsley. Toss lightly and serve.