I like to think of food restrictions as interesting challenges and not limitations. Cooking with seasonal ingredients, locally available products, or to accommodate allergies and intolerances can be inspiring. In the development of this kale salad, I wanted to focus on ingredients that celebrate the fall season, and to also eliminate some common allergens.
The eight foods linked to 90% of all food-allergy reactions in the United States are cow’s milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat. In my family we have lactose-intolerant, gluten-intolerant and peanut-allergic family members. By leaving nuts, cheese and croutons off the salad I made it safe for everyone at our Thanksgiving table. It also added some much needed green to our turkey dinner.
Celebration of Fall Kale Salad
1 Cup Pepitas (pumpkin seed kernels)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 ½ teaspoons salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat egg white until frothy and add pepitas, toss to coat seeds with egg white. Add brown sugar, spice mix, and salt and stir until well-combined. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet prepared with parchment paper or lined with tinfoil and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 - 25 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Once cooled, candied pepitas can be stored in an airtight container for two weeks. This makes more than you’ll need for the salad, save the extra for snacking or more salads.
¼ Cup cider glaze (1 cup apple cider, reduced)
2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¼ Cup olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste
Whisk all ingredients together. This is more dressing than you will need for this salad. Dressing can be made ahead, store in refrigerator.
2 bunches Tuscan Kale, washed, stems removed, and sliced into thin ribbons
1 medium apple, cored thinly sliced
½ Cup dried cranberries
Salt & Pepper
In a large salad bowl, toss kale, apple and cranberries with dressing and season with salt and pepper. I like to add dressing a small amount at a time and massage into the kale by hand, tasting as I go along to check for dressing and salt. Add about ¼ Cup of candied pepitas just before serving.