Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pepitas

Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pepitas

Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pepitas

Glorious, glorious kale salad.

I know, it’s been a “thing” for years now, but I honestly can’t get enough!

This is the… fourth… kale salad recipe on the blog, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.


Easy Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pepitas

The twist on this kale salad is the way the tender leaves are cut.

Rather than just tearing them up into pieces, the leaves are sliced cross-wise into thin strips, kind of like a thick chiffonade.

This makes the salad ultra tender and easy to eat.

Kale Salad Recipe with Cranberries, Pepitas, and Garlic Breadcrumbs

You know what’s even easier?

You don’t have to whisk a dressing for this salad!

Simply drizzle with fresh lemon juice & olive oil, and call it a day.

The extra pops of flavor come from sweet-tart dried cranberries, salty pepitas, savory Parmesan cheese, and homemade buttery garlic breadcrumbs.

The flavor combos are amazing.

This kale salad with cranberries and pepitas is definitely going on my Thanksgiving menu this year!

Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pepitas Recipe

 

5 from 1 vote
Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pepitas
Print
Kale Salad with Cranberries and Pepitas
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 
Servings: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 bunches lacinato kale, washed, stems removed, leaves cut crosswise into thin strips
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly ground sourdough breadcrumbs made by pulsing sourdough sandwich bread in a mini food processor
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shaved parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries (without sulfites)
  • 3/4 cup roasted salted pepitas
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Add the thinly sliced kale to a large salad bowl and set aside. 

  2. Next, add the butter to a small nonstick skillet and warm over medium heat until melted. Add the fresh breadcrumbs, and cook, stirring frequently with a spatula, until the breadcrumbs are nice and golden brown and starting to crisp up. When fully golden and crisp, turn off the heat and stir in the garlic powder and salt. Then remove from the pan to a large plate to cool in one flat layer. 

  3. While the breadcrumbs cool, add the cheese, cranberries, and pepitas to the kale. Pour the juice of 1 lemon over the top, and drizzle the salad liberally with extra virgin olive oil. Toss well to combine. 

  4. When the breadcrumbs are cooled, sprinkle them over the salad and toss again to combine. Serve right away. 

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Veggie Packed Couscous with Lemon Oregano Chicken

Veggie Packed Couscous Salad with Lemon Oregano Chicken

One of the best parts about pilafs is how much good stuff you can pack into them, without the dish feeling overly heavy.

Simply cook a grain or starch, toss it with a whole bunch of veggies and herbs, drizzle with a flavorful dressing, and top with a protein of your choice.

Voila! You’ve got a balanced meal in a bowl.


Veggie Packed Couscous Salad with Lemon Oregano Chicken

This delicious recipe takes things to flavor town.

Tender, fluffy, buttery couscous, tossed with crisp tender broccoli and asparagus, sweet bell pepper and tomato, fresh cucumber, parsley, and green onion, briny olives, and tangy feta cheese. A drizzle of lemon-garlic-oregano dressing and a liberal pinch of salt and pepper ties it all together.

What makes it even better?

Marinating chicken in a lemon-garlic-oregano marinade, then grilling for extra smoky flavor, and serving on top of the couscous salad.

Sure, this dish requires a lot of chopping of veggies, but boy, is it worth it. And it makes A TON, so you’ll have plenty of leftovers for lunches during the week. Enjoy!

Veggie Packed Couscous Salad with Lemon Oregano Chicken

Print
Veggie Packed Couscous with Lemon Oregano Chicken
Prep Time
1 hrs
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 20 mins
 
Servings: 6
Ingredients
For the chicken:
  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the couscous:
  • 10 ounce uncooked plain couscous
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound asparagus, woody ends removed, spears cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 pound broccoli, florets cut into 1/2 inch pieces, stems saved for another use
  • 2 small red bell peppers, seeded & diced
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 large English cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup halved kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onion
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley
  • 6 ounces crumbed feta
For the dressing:
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • pita bread (optional)
Instructions
For the chicken:
  1. Add the chicken cutlets to a large ziplock bag or medium baking dish and set aside.

  2. Whisk together the chicken marinade ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper) in a small bowl. 

  3. Pour the marinade over the chicken and toss to coat well. Let rest at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the salad.

For the couscous:
  1. Add the dry couscous, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter to a large heat-proof bowl. Pour two cups of boiling water over the couscous, cover with a large plate, and let steam for five minutes. When the couscous is done cooking, remove the plate, and fluff with a fork. Set aside and let cool.

  2. Meanwhile, add two tablespoons of olive oil to a large nonstick skillet and warm over medium heat. Add the chopped asparagus and broccoli, and sauté for about 5 minutes, until the vegetables are bright green and crisp tender. Add the broccoli and asparagus to the bowl with the couscous and let cool.

  3. While the vegetables and couscous cool, make the dressing. Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients (extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, honey, garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper) in a small bowl and set aside. 

  4. When the vegetables and couscous are no longer piping hot, add the bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, green onion, parsley, and feta to the bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix until evenly coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

  5. Finally, warm a grill pan over high heat on the stove. Add the chicken cutlets and cook, about 3 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked through & has grill marks. Remove from the grill and let cool for 5 minutes. Slice into strips, and set aside. 

  6. If desired, brush pita bread with plain or garlic olive oil and lightly grill. Serve on the side of the salads. 

  7. When ready to eat, spoon the couscous into individual serving bowls, top with sliced chicken, and enjoy. 

Confit Turkey Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Turkey Confit Salad With Orange Vinaigrette-3

Did you watch the 2013 season of Top Chef Masters?

If you did, then you probably remember chef Sang Yoon. Yep. The ketchup-hater.

Well, he owns two fabulous restaurants that are just a few minutes from our apartment.


Lukshon, an asian-fusion restaurant is one of my absolute favorites. It’s home to my favorite sparkling rose, luscious silky broths, and succulent spicy noodles. It’s my go-to place for a celebratory dinner or date night.

But realistically, we can be found more often at Father’s Office, Yoon’s casual, cooler, sister restaurant that serves up one of the best burgers in LA, thin and crispy fries, and a huge selection of craft beers.

Turkey Confit Salad With Orange Vinaigrette-4

I almost always get the burger at Father’s Office (and yes, there’s no ketchup allowed, only aioli), but one time I went rogue and got the salad.

I know… a SALAD at a burger joint??

But this wasn’t just any salad. It was a duck confit salad over bitter greens with a delicate orange vinaigrette.

And omg it was so good, I ordered it again the next time we went to Father’s Office.

And then I got a little obsessed and tried to recreate it home.

Turkey Confit Salad With Orange Vinaigrette-2

I don’t know about you, but duck isn’t sold at my local Sprouts, so I swapped in a prehistoric looking whole turkey drumstick instead. It has the same vibe as a whole confited duck leg, and turkey legs are actually pretty cheap!

Next step? Figuring out how the heck to confit something.

P.S. if you don’t know how to pronounce confit, it’s “con-fee”

Turkey Confit Salad With Orange Vinaigrette-5

The confiting process is actually relatively simple and hands-off.

You simply submerge your piece of meat (or veggies- garlic confit is super popular) in a pot of olive oil and slowly simmer for hours and hours until the meat is fall off the bone tender.

I like to finish the turkey with a quick high-heat cook in the oven to crisp up the skin, because let’s be honest, crispy skin is the best part of home cooked poultry, am I right?

But really, once the confit is in the oven, you can hang out and do something else for the afternoon while the meat simmers away, and it’ll be ready and waiting for you come dinner time.

Confited meats are super rich.

I mean, you DID just cook it entirely submerged in oil for hours 😉

So to balance it out, it’s perfect served atop a lightly dressed bed of bitter greens, with a fresh orange vinaigrette, crunchy salty nuts, and delightfully sweet dried figs.

Nom nom nom.

This meal is definitely a cooking project, but I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon! You get to be creative and try a new cooking techqniue, AND totally impress yourself and your family with a restaurant quality salad with fancy confited meat 🙂

Turkey Confit Salad With Orange Vinaigrette-7

Confit Turkey Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Serves 4

  • 4 whole turkey drumsticks
  • Sprinkle of kosher salt
  • Sprinkle of ground black pepper
  • 1.5 liters olive oil
  • Cloves from 1 head of garlic, peeled
  • 1 shallot, halved and peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large head curly green leaf lettuce, leaves washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 small head radicchio, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
  • 16 figs, stem ends removed, each fig sliced into 8 wedges
  • 1/2 cup roasted salted cashews or macadamia nuts
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • Zest and juice of 1 small navel orange
  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Season the turkey legs with kosher salt and pepper and place in a large enameled dutch oven. Nestle them in so that they are in one layer. Pour enough olive oil into the dutch oven to fully submerge the turkey legs (don’t worry, you can save the oil for cooking later. It won’t be wasted). It took about 1.5 liters to cover the turkey legs in my dutch oven.

Add the garlic cloves, shallot, and bay leaves to the pot. Put the pot on the stove over high heat and bring to barely a simmer. Turn off the heat, and put the unlidded pot in the oven. Let cook for 4 hours, or until the skin and flesh of the turkey has begun to pull away from the end of the leg bone and the meat is fall off the bone tender. Check on it periodically to make sure the oil is NOT boiling. If it is, turn down the heat so it is barely at a simmer.

When the turkey is done, remove the pot from the oven and set aside to cool. Use tongs to remove the turkey legs from the oil and place on a cooling rack placed on a rimmed baking sheet. Increase the oven temperature to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and place the baking sheet with the turkey legs in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes or so, until the skin is nicely browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and set aside.

When the olive oil is cooled, fish out the garlic and shallot confit & store submerged in a bit of the oil for another use. Strain the rest of the oil into a tupperware and keep in the fridge for up to a month for all of your general purpose cooking needs.

While the turkey legs are browning, assemble the salad and make the dressing.

Place the lettuce and radicchio in a large bowl.

In a small bowl, whisk together the orange zest, orange juice, 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 clove pressed garlic, and Dijon mustard. Season with a little salt and pepper, and pour the dressing over the lettuce and radicchio. Toss to coat.

Divide the lettuce up onto 4 large plates. Top each plate with 1/4th each of the dried figs, cashews or macadamia nuts, and green onions. Place 1 turkey leg on top of each salad and enjoy!

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