A delicious balsamic kale salad that is perfect for a holiday side dish! Packed full of goodies: pears, pecans and havarti cheese crisps!
Hello and welcome to the very last recipe for 2015!
Can you believe the year is coming to a close? I can, and I have to say, I’m glad that it is. I can remember starting 2015 this year and thinking to myself “this year is going to be hard”. And it has definitely been a challenging one.
But now I’m starting to look towards 2016 and I don’t know exactly what it will bring, but I am very optimistic!
So I thought it would be fun to finish off 2016 with a simple, delicious and healthy recipe that would be absolutely perfect on your table for a holiday dinner: this balsamic kale salad, packed with goodies. Havarti cheese 2 ways (creamy cubes and crunchy crisps), pears and pecans, all tossed in a tangy maple-balsamic vinaigrette.
Now you know what makes my perfect salad, right? It has to have something sweet (pears), something crunchy (pecans), something leafy (kale), and cheese. There. Must. Always. Be. Cheese.
So when I had the opportunity to try some of Arla Dofino’s Creamy Havarti Cheese, I knew right away how to use it. It has such a creamy texture and nice, mild cheese flavours that I knew would pair perfectly with tangy balsamic vinegar and sweet pears in a kale salad.
To take things just a little further, I decided to use the cheese two ways. Firstly in crisp form. See those up there? Cheesy crispy goodness. Just make small piles of shredded cheese on a baking sheet, bake for 6-8 minutes, and you will have these gorgeous little (highly addictive) havarti crisps.
Because Arla Dofino Havarti is SO creamy, I also just had to use some cubes in the salad. These havarti cubes provide a creamy counterpart to all of the other textures in the salad. Plus the havarti-pear combo is just plain delicious!
This is one of those great salads that you can make ahead of time. I definitely love anything that can be made ahead during the holidays, don’t you?
It’s just perfect for taking to a holiday party. Just put keep the components separate and toss them all together when you get there!
Happy holidays everyone! Let’s all stay safe and warm and eat lots of delicious food! Starting with a balsamic kale salad.
Disclaimer: Thank-you very much to Arla Foods for providing me with their absolutely delicious products. As always, all opinions remain my own.
- 1/2 cup Arla Dofino Creamy Havarti shredded
- 8 cups of kale shredded into bite sized pieces (washed and dried)
- 1 pear sliced
- 1/3 cup toasted pecans coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup Arla Dofino Creamy Havarti cubed
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Havarti Crisps Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Make small piles of the havarti cheese, about ½ tablespoon of cheese per pile and 2 inches apart on the sheet.
Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese becomes crispy (start checking on your cheese at 5 minutes to prevent burning). The edges will be slightly browned and the middle should no longer be jiggly.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Crisps may be made a few hours ahead of time.
Kale salad To remove any bitterness from the kale, give it a 'massage' for a minute or so until it turns a darker green and is slightly 'wilted'.
Toss together all the salad ingredients in the balsamic vinaigrette.
Top with havarti crisps prior to serving.