Thanksgiving and all of its glorious leftovers are finally behind us. Salads and greens have become a mainstay in our diet again, in hopes of shedding those extra pounds we put on during the holiday. This kale and pear salad with warm bacon dressing represents just that: a delicious and healthy new start.
Jackie and I had a wonderful holiday this year. We spent quality time with loved ones and even celebrated a family birthday. With so much going on, healthy eating was not a priority (and believe me, no one complained). Now that we are in full-on Christmas shopping mode, we need extra energy to keep us going. It is no secret that my girl loves kale, but I have yet to fully take part or understand this green love affair of hers. I needed to come up with a way that I might actually want to eat it. What better way than bacon?
I have made warm bacon dressing before on many occasions, most often to accompany spinach salad. It seemed to be a natural fit for kale, as its sweet flavors balance the bitterness of the leafy green. I added pears and walnuts for texture, and topped it with a few small crispy bacon pieces for good measure. The result was a delicious salad that even a skeptic like me can enjoy. Now in no way am I a kale convert, but this super food salad makes us all happy. It even gives Jackie the energy to keep pace with me in the shopping mall. She’s gonna need it.
A hearty salad with a sweet finish
- 1 bunch kale, shredded
- 8 slices bacon
- 1/2 C sugar
- 2/3 C cider vinegar
- 3 tsp corn starch
- 1 C fresh diced pear
- 1/4 C water
- 1 C chopped walnut pieces
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Clean and wash kale and pat dry with towel
- Julienne kale into 1/8″ strips
- Place in large salad bowl and set aside
- Chop bacon into 1/2 inch pieces and add to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until bacon is browned and crispy.
- Remove bacon from pan and leave remaining grease.
- Add sugar and vinegar and cook over low heat until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes
- In a small bowl mix together water and corn starch until dissolved. Slowly add to sugar and vinegar mixture.
- Cook over medium heat until thickened like pancake syrup (about 5 minutes)
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Add cooked bacon and mix.
- Top kale with pears and walnuts. Right before serving, top with hot bacon dressing and toss.