A wildly delicious kale and grain salad that has it all: sweet, refreshing and satisfying.
I love Fall-inspired salads, like my Perfect Autumn Salad. This salad is also Autumnal, and it has my heart – it is wildly delicious. I ate it for lunch and dinner one day, then made a second, larger batch and ate it for days on end and I am still in love with it. You have to try it. It’s great for lunch but it would also make a beautiful Thanksgiving salad to compliment your holiday meal.
This salad has everything; it is satisfying and filling because it features black forbidden rice as the grain. It has a refreshing and slightly sweet dressing that is complimented by plump black grapes and tangy dried cranberries. And the finishing touches – crunchy toasted almonds, salty feta, and vibrant fresh basil – add just the kick the salad needs to take it from yum to obsession-worthy. I’ll be making this all season long…
Wild Kale Salad
1/2 cup black forbidden rice, measured when dry
3-4 large kale leaves
Juice of 3/4 lemon
1 cup of black or red grapes, halved
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup feta, cubed*
1/3 cup toasted slivered almonds
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp balsamic
1 tbsp slivered fresh basil
First, measure and cook your black forbidden rice according to the package directions. This will take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the rice that you have.
While the rice is cooking, remove the stems from the kale leaves. Chop the leaves (I like mine cut into small ribbons) and add them to a large bowl. Juice about 3/4 of a lemon and massage the juice into the kale with your hands. Allow the kale to rest for about 20 minutes, massaging occasionally.
If your almonds are not already toasted, add 1/3 cup raw slivered almonds to a dry skillet and place over medium-low heat. Stay at your stove to monitor and toss them around; they can burn easily. Remove the almonds from the pan once they are golden brown and set aside.
When the rice is done, drain any remaining water and set aside to cool a bit. Meanwhile, halve the grapes, cube the feta, and add to the kale along with the dried cranberries and toasted almonds. In a small bowl, whisk the honey and balsamic together until thoroughly combined. You may want to add more or less honey based on your personal preferences. Once the rice has cooled slightly, add to the kale mixture along with the dressing. Toss well and garnish with slivered fresh basil to serve.
Although this salad is perfect on its own, it would be lovely topped with grilled salmon or chicken. Enjoy!
*I have made this with grated Asagio cheese, but I preferred the flavor and consistency of the feta. If you do choose to use Asagio or another similar hard cheese, I would recommend cutting it into thicker slivers or cubes.
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