Early fall is always one of my favorite times of year to be in the kitchen. It’s finally not too hot to use the stove and there are so many fresh fruits and vegetables in season. This Kale and Wild Rice Salad with Apples was inspired by a giant bag of apples staring me down after a recent apple picking adventure. I knew the crunchy, juicy apples would pair perfectly with the texture of the Basmati and Wild Rice blend. I chopped up some kale from the farmers’ market, then added toasted pecans, dried cranberries, and sharp cheddar to round out the flavors and textures.
And as a New Englander, I knew I wanted to include a touch of real maple syrup in the dressing for the salad so I used fresh lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard to balance everything out. The salad turned out so well and I was delighted to discover that because kale is so hearty, the leftovers keep well for a couple of days – if you don’t eat the whole salad all at once!
Kale and Wild Rice Salad with Apples
Tasty Seasons – Kate Rogers
Recipe Ingredients and Directions
Kale and Wild Rice Salad
1 cup Della Basmati and Wild Rice
1 bunch of Tuscan kale (also known as lacinato or black kale, it’s the flatter leaf variety)
2 crisp, tart apples, cored and diced
½ cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup cheddar cut into tiny dice or coarsely grated
2 small shallots, minced
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon maple syrup, ideally Grade B / Grade A: Dark Color and Robust Flavor
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a jar with a tight fighting lid or small mixing bowl. Shake or whisk to combine. Set aside.
Kale and Wild Rice Salad
- Cook the Basmati and Wild Rice according to the package directions. Once it’s done cooking, spread it out on a rimmed baking sheet to cool.
- To prepare the kale, wash and dry thoroughly. Fold a kale leaf in half so that the thick rib is on the outside and use a sharp knife to remove the rib. Repeat with a few leaves then pile the leaves up and cut them crosswise into thin ribbons. Repeat until all of the kale is trimmed and cut.
- Put all of the kale into a large serving bowl. Add about one third of the dressing and use your hands to massage the dressing into the kale for a minute or two. Add the rest of the salad ingredients to the bowl, another third of the dressing, and toss well. Taste to determine if you want to add more dressing; you may not need to use all of the dressing. Serve immediately. Because kale is so sturdy, leftovers keep well for a day or two.
Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod’s Kale and Wild Rice Salad.