Kale, pear and walnut salad is a hearty, colorful, nutritious winter salad for all your holiday parties and festivities.
The holidays are such a fun time to enjoy sweet treats and comfort foods. It can be hard for your average salad to compete with those home-baked flavors…but this salad? Total game changer. It’s got a lot to offer your palate.
A tangy, light pomegranate vinaigrette paired with the bright flavors of red onion, accompanied by the crisp, bold flavors of pears and kale. Walnuts add an extra nutritional boost as well as crunch to vary the texture, and dried cranberries balance the acidity of the vinaigrette with their natural sweetness.
My favorite part about this gorgeous kale, pear and walnut salad is that it’s easy to put together! In the midst of having all the Thanksgiving or Christmas craziness, you can have this healthy side dish ready to go in about thirty minutes, homemade vinaigrette included!
Tips for Making Kale, Pear & Walnut Salad
Massaging your kale. This is an important step. It should only take you about a minute or so, but this helps to relax the leaves a bit. Truly, this is an optional step; but I recommend it to balance out the texture of the salad!
Slice your pears last, or just before serving. This is also optional, but I say this because the pears can begin to brown a bit if the salad sits for more than 30 minutes to an hour before it is served.
Prep this salad as meal prep or prep-ahead. Leave the dressing off if you are going to take this as a prepped meal or if you intend to make it ahead of time. As I said above, I’d also recommend leaving the pears out or slicing them just before serving if you are going to prep ahead! If you are making a meal and prep the salad ahead of time, leave it in the fridge so that the kale leaves stay nice and crisp!
Let me know how you like this recipe in the comments below, and be sure to leave a rating!
Kale, Pear & Walnut Salad with Pomegranate Vinaigrette
- Large salad bowl
- chef's knife
- Cutting board
- Vegetable peeler
For the salad:
- 1 large bunch raw curly kale, about 5-6 cups
- 3 medium carrots, shredded (like pappardelle pasta)
- ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 medium pear, sliced
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- ¾ cup dried cranberries, unsweetened
For the dressing:
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp raw local honey
- ½ cup (heaping) pomegranate seeds
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp coarse ground black pepper
To prepare the salad:
- Prepare fruit and vegetables: slice pear and onion. Using a vegetable peeler, create long strips of carrot by running the peeler lengthwise down the carrot. Set veggies aside. Remove the kale from stems and tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces, placing the leaves in a large salad bowl.
- Massage the kale for about thirty seconds to soften the texture. If you've never done this before, you'll squeeze the kale in your hands until it softens a bit.
- Combine vegetables and fruit with remaining salad ingredients in the large bowl with the kale. Cover and set aside in the fridge until ready to serve, so the kale leaves stay crisp.
To prepare the dressing:
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Squish some of the pomegranate seeds to release the juice. The color should be a deep red, and a few of the seeds should still be intact.
- Just before serving, pour dressing over salad and gently toss, being careful not to mash the pears. Serve immediately.
- Store extra dressing in a glass jar or mason jar for up to a week.
Love this easy, healthy recipe? Try my Pumpkin Pecan Granola!