Warm Kale Salad with Dried Cherries and Goat Cheese

Dec 7th
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You know those quizzes that pop up on Facebook? I don’t ordinarily click but you might figure the one that got me had to do with food. It was “how picky of an eater are you?” It turned out there were two foods out of 82 that I dislike. So…not very picky. Ok folks, what two ingredients have you never ever ever seen listed on homebeccanomics before?One is olives, and that’s not going to change. I hate them and I think it’s in my DNA. The other is goat cheese, which might surprise you. I had a friend say to me it just tastes like cream cheese. I wish. To me it tastes like the inside of a goat’s organs. I know that with some repetition and an open mind, taste preference can change (which is why I make Tessa try bites but don’t make her finish something she doesn’t like), so I decided it was time to change things.

A neighbor friend Nicole brought me some kale salad to try and she mentioned it had goat cheese. As I fed the kids their lunches I figured it’d be better to eat the salad than their pb and jelly crusts, so I went for it. While I very much recognized the goat-y flavor, I kept on with my bites, and I cleaned out the container! I made my own version of the salad for friends later on in the week and served it with grilled flat-iron steak – it was a scrumptious combination.

Here it is for you, further tweaked. By roasting the kale just a bit (not till it turns into chips) the bitterness is cut and the natural sweetness comes out. This is my new favorite way to eat kale! Ever toast nuts in the microwave? So easy. This amount of walnuts will toast in 3 1/2 minutes. As for serving, I like this warm or at room temp, but be aware that if you reheat it the cheese will melt; you may need a sprinkle of cheese on top for serving. Cold would also work, FYI!

Warm Kale Salad with Dried Cherries and Goat Cheese

Serves 4

1 bunch curly kale, stems removed and torn into bite sized pieces

2 tbsp. olive oil, divided

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. honey

2 tsp. dijon mustard

1/3 c. crumbled goat cheese

1/3 c. dried cherries

1/2 c. toasted walnuts  *

*Toast on a plate in the microwave for 3 1/2 minutes

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange kale on sheet.

2. Rub 1 tbsp. olive oil vigorously into leaves (massage a bit).

3. Place in preheated oven and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to mixing bowl.

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4. Add remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil, vinegar, honey and dijon mustard to mixing bowl and toss with tongs until thoroughly combined.

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5. Add goat cheese, cherries and walnuts and toss to combine. Serve.

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