I like to call this the calm before the storm.

Crispy Kale Salad I howsweeteats.com

The clouds before the rain.

The “like” before almost all of my words.

Crispy Kale Salad I howsweeteats.com

The salad before dinner.

The balanced dish before the cupcakes. And cake. And brownies. And cupcakes

Crispy Kale Salad I howsweeteats.com

The last, oh… MONTH of my life and the lives of those around me.

As I simultaneously lost my mind and remained relatively calm when I decided that no, I would not have an I-like-to-think-I-am-Kim-Kardashian-style birthday party because I am a normal person and not a participant on My Super Sweet Sixteen.

Otherwise known as my last day in my twenties.

I’m just gonna let that marinate for a bit and eat a lot of green stuff for 12 hours or so to make up for the copious amounts of sugar and booze I will be consuming for the next four (five?) days. I.can’t.wait.

Crispy Kale Salad I howsweeteats.com


Crispy Autumn Kale Salad

Yield: serves 2

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


1 large bunch of kale, torn from stems and torn into pieces
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh apple cider
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 shallot, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 small sweet potato, diced
1 honeycrisp apple, diced
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup pomegranate arils


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place kale in a large bowl and massage olive oil, apple cider, 1/8 teaspoon salt, nutmeg and pepper into for 1-2 minutes. Spread on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 10 minutes. Toss well and roast for 5-10 minutes more, until slightly crispy but not golden.

While kale is roasting, heat a skillet over medium heat and add bacon. Cook until crispy and fat is rendered (about 2 minutes), then remove with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel. Add the shallot, garlic, sweet potatoes and apples to the skillet, tossing with remaining salt and cinnamon. You want the sweet potato and apple finely diced, about the same size as the bacon bits and only slightly larger than the pom arils and pine nuts. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.

In a small saucepan, add pine nuts and toast over low heat for 5-6 minutes, until golden and fragrant. Set aside.

Combine kale with apples and sweet potatoes, pine nuts, goat cheese and pom arils. I don't find this needs any sort of additional dressing (the kale will not stay crispy) but feel free to add some if you'd like.

[inspired by my favorite coconut kale salad in super natural everyday]

Crispy Kale Salad I howsweeteats.com

Oh wait… maybe I can. P.S. if I like this salad, you probably will too.

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94 Responses to “Crispy Kale Salad.”

  1. #
    Melissa — November 18, 2012 @ 8:24 pm

    I made this today as a side for a brunch…it was a hit! Thank you for creating the perfect recipe to go with short rib hash!


  2. #
    Anna — November 29, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

    Would it be possible to make this with frozen kale?


  3. #
    penemuel — November 30, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

    Do you mean roast as in the roasting pan at the bottom of the oven, or bake? I want to try this…


  4. #
    Melanie — December 7, 2012 @ 10:05 pm

    Um wow. I just made this tonight *almost* as written. I didn’t have sweet potatoes on hand so I used blue potatoes from the market. Made for some nice colors — I might even try blue AND sweet potatoes next time to get a rainbow salad next time. Anyways, this salad was probably the best I’ve ever had. Just saying. Try it, you will like it! I know it’s going to be staying in my (virtual) recipe box for a long time.


  5. #
    mickchicago — December 25, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

    I made this for Christmas – wanted to do something different! I have a small kitchen and tried doubling the recipe…it took me many hours to make in shifts. I am not a good cook so had issues with the following:
    -mushy apples and butternut squash (substitute for sweet potatoes)
    -“crispy” kale was wilted and not crispy
    -I am a veg so left had bacon bits on the side
    -couldnt get to costco for the pomegranite seeds so used dried poms

    I will keep you posted on what the crowd says. But what did i do wrong with the mushy kale and apple/butternut squash mix???


  6. #
    Emilie — January 2, 2013 @ 4:42 pm

    Seriously obsessed with this salad. I’ve made it so many times over the past 2 months, I just keep forgetting to comment.


  7. #
    Jessica — February 9, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

    I love kale salad and have been eating a ton of it this week while I was doing a vegan juice cleanse. This looks delish!


  8. #
    Stacey — February 9, 2013 @ 10:34 pm

    I would run into trouble right after toasting the kale, those chips tend to disappear quickly in my kitchen! Looks delicious though, I will try to resist my kale loving urges and make this happen!


  9. #
    Gabi — March 18, 2014 @ 6:59 am

    By far the best salad ive ever eaten, thanks Jessica!



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