A wonderful salad for fall that has such delicious, earthy flavors and nutrient-rich kale that adds texture.  For this salad, I slice the kale in very thin, horizontal strips and then took the extra step to massage the kale gently in between my hands to break up the cellulose of the leaves, making the kale more tender in a raw salad.  I love the flavor of gorgonzola in the salad, but if that is not your favorite cheese, you cold easily substitute a crumbled goat cheese or feta which would also work.  I love plating the salad on a large plate in a pile that provides vertical dimension and a lovely presentation.

Serves 4, as a first course salad


for salad:

  • 3 large bunches (about 8 cups) lacinato kale, purple kale, kale (or bunch of each), washed and large stems removed, sliced in 1/4 inch strips
  • 1/4 red onion, shaved
  • 1 small pear, quartered and thinly sliced in segments
  • 1 cup crumbled gorgonzola
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

for vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil (good quality)
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil
  • 14 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey.
  • 1 12 teaspoons kosher salt.
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste

Directions:  Whisk together all ingredients for salad dressing until the oil is emulsified and all ingredients are well combined.  Make sure to dry the kale well after slicing, then take the kale in between your clean  hands and gently rub it together.  You will notice the leaves will develop a deeper green color, and will start to wilt slightly.  Set aside.  Toss the kale with the shaved red onion and just enough salad dressing (reserve extra dressing for another salad) to coat the leaves. Add crumbled cheese, tossing gently to combine. Using a 3″ ring mold (you could also use a clean, dry 24 oz can from tomatoes, with both ends removed), pile kale mixture into the center of mold on a large plate.  Remove the mold, and add slices of pear (5-7 slices) fanned along the top of piled salad and sprinkle 1/4 cup of toasted walnuts on each mound. Serve immediately and enjoy!