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Is there really anything better than Fall? The crisp air, the sunny days, the breeze – and of course the food! This Fall Harvest Salad is the perfect dish for fall – for a meal or a side, for your family or to bring to a gathering, and it even works great as a side for Thanksgiving.
The stars of this salad are the: roasted Brussels sprouts, pomegranates, bacon, goat cheese, and pecans. And perhaps the best thing about the salad is the sweet mustard dressing – it’s filled with whole grain mustard, maple syrup, garlic, and apple cider vinegar. It really brings the whole salad together.
With the sweet pomegranates and pecans, creamy goat cheese, salty bacon, savory Brussels sprouts and kale, and the tangy sweet dressing, this salad really hits every flavor profile.
One of the best parts of using Kale in salad is how well it holds dressing without wilting. This salad can stay out for a while, and even chill in the fridge overnight and it still tastes great.
There are a couple tricks for getting Kale to taste it’s best. You have to massage the chopped kale with a little olive oil, salt, and apple cider vinegar before you make the salad. It sounds strange but trust me. Kale is really thick and without massaging it, your salad will end up tough and may taste a little like rough foilage. The secret with kale is that if you chop it pretty thin, and then massage it with these ingredients, it becomes so flavorful, almost sweet. Honestly you need to try it – it’s delicious!
Another thing that really sets this salad apart for me is the crumbled goat cheese. Many fall salads have blue cheese or gorgonzola or feta, which are all great but are a little more pungent. Using crumbled goat cheese just adds the perfect creaminess to offset the sweetness of the pomegranates. (Last tip: buy the goat cheese pre-crumbled – it can be a little too creamy to try and crumble yourself).
Fall Harvest Salad with Sweet Mustard Dressing
Sweet Mustard Dressing
- 4 tablespoons whole grain mustard
- 1/3 cup mayo
- 2 tablespoons sour cream or Greek yogurt (plain)
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
Fall Harvest Salad
- 2 heads Kale
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, sliced thin (slice each one into 3-4 slices)
- 6-8 strips cooked bacon, cut into small pieces, or crumbled
- 1 cup candied pecans (I started buying mine pre-candied to save time but you can sweeten them yourself if needed by cooking in a nonstick pan with a little maple syrup)
- 1 pomegranate, arils removed (or you can buy just the Arils, already removed)
- crumbled goat cheese
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Sweet Mustard Dressing
- Whisk all dressing ingredients together. Store in the fridge for up to a week.
Fall Harvest Salad
- Brussels Sprouts: Preheat oven to 425°F. In a medium-sized bowl toss cut Brussels sprouts with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Once coated turn out onto large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle generously with salt and bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly charred. Remove and set aside.
- Bacon: If you haven't cooked your bacon already, do that while the Brussels sprouts are baking. Pan fry the bacon until well cooked and set aside to cool on paper towels to absorb the grease.
- Kale: Prepping your kale is an important step to it tasting great and helping it absorb some flavor. First start by cutting out all the veins of your kale leaves. Once those are removed, using a large chef's knife, slice your kale into thin strips. The thinner they are, the easier they will absorb the flavor. Place kale shreds into a large bowl and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt.Then using clean hands, slowly start to massage the kale by grabbing large portions and squeezing together. Keep doing this for 3-4 minutes until the kale softens up and reduces in size by about half.
- Build your salad. Start with the kale as the base, then add on the Brussels sprouts, the bacon, the pecans, then the pomegranates, and finally the goat cheese. Mix mustard dressing again, or shake, before using. Drizzle generously with the dressing and toss well. Top with a little more goat cheese before serving.
There you have it – one of the best salads you’ll ever have – and the perfect salad for Fall. I hope you love this Fall Harvest Salad ! Be sure to tag me @plumstreetcollective if you make it – I’m sure you’ll love it!