Fall kale salad with maple syrup dressing

In recent years, kale has become the hottest thing since sliced bread, yoga pants, and pumpkin spice lattes. This green superfood continues to climb the social hierarchy of trendy foods, easily making its way past chia seeds, kombucha, and quinoa. It now appears on the menus of high-end and chain restaurants alike, intriguing the curious eater and bringing along fabulous health benefits.

Among vegetarians and vegans, kale is particularly popular. I try to consume it several times a week; it’s a killer source of iron, vitamins A, C, and K!

Now that I’ve made a solid case for kale, let’s get to the fun part…

Fall Kale Salad with Sweet Potatoes and Maple Syrup Dressing
It turns out maple syrup isn’t just good on pancakes. In fact, it’s the perfect complement to bitter greens like kale. Whip us this fall salad for dinner or lunch and you’ll see what I’m talking about!

For the salad and potatoes-
6 small fingerling sweet potatoes, scrubbed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped (fresh rosemary or sage would work as well)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Sea salt for seasoning
5 kale leaves, washed and pulled off middle stems
Juice of 2 lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine olive oil, thyme, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Add potatoes and mix them around until covered. Place them in a roasting pan and sprinkle with sea salt. Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes (flip them at 15 minutes to ensure even browning).

While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the kale. After you’ve washed the leaves and pulled off pieces from the middle stems, you’ll want to massage it. Say what now?

I know it seems odd, but I promise it will make for a much more enjoyable salad! Simply take a handful of leaves and rub them together for about 3 minutes. You’ll be able to see a visible change in color and texture. For example, see the before (on the left) and after (on the right) pictures below.

Once you’ve massaged all of it, rip into smaller pieces. Put these in a salad bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. When the potatoes are ready and creamy in the middle, take them out of the oven and cool for 5-10 minutes. Slice them into small circles and toss with the kale.

For the maple syrup dressing-
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup Grade A Dark maple syrup
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Pour ingredients in a sealed container. Shake rigorously until the dressing appears smooth and even. Drizzle over kale and potatoes. Enjoy this amazing combination of fall flavors!

Happy hump day!