Baby Kale Salad with Candied Pecans, Bacon, Goat Cheese, Granny Smith Apples, and Maple-Bacon Vinaigrette

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    6

Appears in

The Bacon Bible

The Bacon Bible

By Peter Sherman and Stephanie Banyas

Published 2019

  • About

My updated version of a fall salad stars the super trendy, oh-so-hip kale. I use baby kale at BarBacon because it is less chewy and, truth be told, makes for a prettier plate, but you can definitely substitute Tuscan (also known as lacinato) kale when making it at home. I like to wait until apple-picking season before I make the vinaigrette, but nothing should stop you from using the vinaigrette throughout the year, if you please.

Ingredients

For the Vinaigrette

  • ¾ cup (180 ml) canola oil
  • 12 ounces (340 g) slab bacon, cut into lardons
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, peeled and cored
  • 1 (2-inch/5-cm) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • ½ cup (120 ml) pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) sherry vinegar
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) whole-grain mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad

  • 6 ounces (170 g) baby kale; or 12 ounces (340 g) Tuscan kale, stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup (90 g) Fried Spiced Candied Pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 5 ounces (140 g) soft goat cheese

Method

Make the vinaigrette: In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring a few times, until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and set aside. Pour the oil and bacon fat into a bowl to cool.

In a blender, puree the shallot, apple, ginger, maple syrup, cider vinegar, sherry vinegar, and mustard until smooth. Reduce the blender speed to low and slowly add the reserved oil and bacon fat in a steady stream. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the salad: In a large bowl, combine the kale and apple slices, add the dressing, and toss to coat. Transfer to a platter and top with the candied pecans, goat cheese, and bacon.