Fall Harvest Kale Salad with Grilled Lemon Vinaigrette

This kale salad basically encompasses the Fall season for me and just begs to be served with a big glass of Malbec and a loaf of crusty whole grain bread. I’m not sure about you but when the weather starts to cool down in Wisconsin I immediately reach for dark leafy greens and a full bodied red wine.

Harvest fall kale salad loaded with apples, pecans, goat cheese and pomegranate seeds

Add some hearty quinoa, crumbled goat cheese, toasted pecans and a burst of pomegranate seeds and I’m a happy camper! And how could I forget the grilled lemon vinaigrette?!?! First of all, have you ever grilled your lemons? Cause I hadn’t!

Harvest fall kale salad loaded with apples, pecans, goat cheese and pomegranate seeds

While on a local food tour a few months back we ate a summer vegetable salad with a grilled citrus vinaigrette and I could not get over how tasty the dressing was. When the chef told us he always grilled his citrus before adding it to a dressing I was intrigued to say the least… How had I never heard of this before? Have I been living under a rock? Well yes, I have a toddler so I basically leave the house to go to work and the grocery store. So I do live under a rock most of the time. But also, why has it taken me so long to try this?!?!

Harvest fall kale salad loaded with apples, pecans, goat cheese and pomegranate seeds

You may be wondering: How much can grilling the fruit before juicing it really changed the flavor of the dish? The answer: very much like, A. LOT. While all the parts of this salad really play off each other, the dressing just ties everything together and gives it that burst of freshness that a hearty Fall salad really needs.

Harvest fall kale salad loaded with apples, pecans, goat cheese and pomegranate seeds

If you like this delicious little number, check out it’s simpler, yet equally delicious soul sister, my Pomegranate, Goat Cheese Salad with White Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Harvest fall kale salad loaded with apples, pecans, goat cheese and pomegranate seeds

This is also the perfect meal prep recipe! It’s a super easy weekday lunch that will have you looking forward to break time and keep you fueled through the afternoon. Enjoy!

Harvest fall kale salad loaded with apples, pecans, goat cheese and pomegranate seeds

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Fall Harvest Kale Salad with Grilled Lemon Vinaigrette


  • Author: Midwest Foodie
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 minutes
  • Total Time: 19 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings
  • Category: Salad

Description

This kale salad basically encompasses the Fall season for me and just begs to be served with a big glass Malbec and a loaf of crusty whole grain bread.


Ingredients

Salad:

  • 10 cups chopped kale
  • 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup toasted pecans
  • seeds from 1-2 pomegranate
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 large cortland apple, thinly sliced

Dressing:

  • 3/4 cup +1 tablespoon olive oil
  • juice of 2 (grilled) lemons
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Kosher salt
  • fresh cracked pepper

Instructions

  1. Start by grilling your lemons. Heat either a traditional grill to medium high or heat regular saute pan over medium high heat. Zest 1 lemon and add zest to a mason jar.
  2. Slice both lemons in half widthwise and season each of the cut sides with a pinch of salt. Coat your grilling surface with a tablespoon or so of olive oil (more or less depending on what cooking surface you’re using). Grill lemons, cut side down for about 3-4 minutes or until they start to get a nice dark brown char on them. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Add 3/4 cup olive oil, Dijon, honey, white balsamic vinegar, thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper to the lemon zest in the mason jar.
  4. Once lemons are cool enough to handle, squeeze their juice into the mason jar as well. Cover with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously until the dressing emulsifies and becomes creamy.
  5. Pour dressing over kale and massage it for about 3-4 minutes or until it starts to turn a bright green color and wilt a bit. Divide into 4 servings.
  6. Divide goat cheese, pecans, pomegranate seeds, quinoa and apple slices evenly between the four servings. Give each plate a final pinch of salt and pepper and enjoy!

Keywords: easy, simple, recipe, meal prep, lunch, work, healthy, weekday, fall, Wisconsin

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Fall Harvest Salad with Grilled Lemon Vinaigrette | Midwest Foodie

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