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Apple Pancetta Fall Kale Salad

The perfect seasonal fall kale salad! Topped with apple cider vinaigrette, made with maple syrup and a pinch of nutmeg. A hint of fall and it tastes AMAZING.
5 from 13 votes
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  • 1/4 cup quick pickled onionsĀ 
  • 2 ounces pancetta
  • 1 bunch lacinato kale leaves removed from stems (you want 4 to 6 cups)
  • 2 small or 1 large honeycrisp apples chopped
  • 1 cup fresh figs chopped
  • 1/3 cup pecans chopped
  • 2 ounces goat cheese crumbled

maple cider vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove finely minced or pressed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


  • If you haven't made pickled onions before or you don't have any on hand, go ahead and make them according to this recipe!
  • Next, heat a skillet over medium heat and add the pancetta. Cook, stirring often, until the pancetta is crisp and the fat is rendered. Remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and place it on a paper towel to drain excess grease.
  • While the pancetta is cooking, shred the kale with a large knife. I like to run my knife through the leaves until they are in smaller pieces, but don't worry about them being super smell or uniformly sized. Place the kale in a bowl and add 1 teaspoon olive oil. Massage the oil into the kale with your hands for 3 to 4 minutes. Set the bowl aside to sit for moment. Chop up your apples, figs and pecans at this time too!
  • When you're ready to assemble the salad, sprinkle the kale with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add in the pancetta, the apples, figs, pecans and pickled onions. Add the crumbled goat cheese on top. Season with another pinch of salt and pepper. Drizzle with the dressing and serve!

maple cider vinaigrette

  • In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, syrup, garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg and pepper flakes. Continue to whisk while streaming in the olive oil. This dressing stays great in the fridge in a sealed container for a week or so, so feel free to make a double batch if desired!

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