Raw Kale Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Raw Kale Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Last week, homemade butterscotch got the best of me. But I promised today’s recipe would star nutrient-packed leafy greens. And that it does. It also happens to star bacon, and more specifically, warm bacon vinaigrette. Leave it to me to transform kale—thou holiest of all trendy superfoods—into a salad with bacon drippings as a sidekick.

There’s just something about a warm bacon vinaigrette that makes people weak in the knees, and relaxes uptight leafy greens just to the point where they bend at the bite while retaining their crunch. This dressing features a quick mix of warm, rendered bacon fat with minced shallots, tangy apple cider vinegar and a dollop of Dijon. And then it’s time to let that salad freak flag fly, as you toss in the likes of toasted nuts, shredded parmesan or dried cranberries—all ready for a bacon bath. I’ll leave you with that thought. A bacon bath.

Raw Kale Salad

Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Raw Kale Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

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Raw Kale Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

Yield: 4 - 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 10 min


2 pounds kale, washed and thoroughly dried
1/3 cup toasted nuts (such as walnuts, pecans or pepitas)
6 slices bacon
2 Tablespoons minced shallots
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard


Strip the leaves from the stems of the kale, and then roll up the leaves and chiffonade them into thin strips. Place the kale in a large bowl and top with the toasted nuts.

Cook the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium heat, reserving all drippings and leaving all crunchy bits in the pan. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.

Return the sauté pan over medium heat and add 3 tablespoons of the reserved bacon drippings back to the pan. (If you don't have 3 tablespoons of drippings, use what you have plus some olive oil.) Add the shallots and sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in the vinegar, mustard and brown sugar, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Remove the vinaigrette from the heat and season with salt and pepper.

Chop up the reserved bacon and add it to the bowl with the kale and nuts. Toss the kale with the warm dressing and serve immediately.

Kelly's Notes:

Feel free to toss in dried cranberries and your choice or cheese, such as shredded parmesan or crumbled gorgonzola.


36 Responses to “Raw Kale Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette”

  1. #
    Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit — January 9, 2013 at 8:40 am

    I love bacon and kale together. My favorite is making kale chips with bacon bits. It’s out of this world, amazing so I could imagine your salad being just as good!

  2. #
    Bev @ Bev Cooks — January 9, 2013 at 8:51 am

    Oh my WORD, I need a shovel.

  3. #
    Gerry @ Foodness Gracious — January 9, 2013 at 9:07 am

    This looks fantastic!! Bacon vinaigrette….wow!!

  4. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — January 9, 2013 at 10:26 am

    A couple months ago I had a spinach salad with a bacon vinaigrette, it was heavenly! I have been meaning to make it at home. But I love the idea of using kale instead – gorgeous salad!

  5. #
    Gina Caruso — January 9, 2013 at 10:38 am

    This sounds sooooo good Kelly!!!!

  6. #
    Sydney @ Crepes of Wrath — January 9, 2013 at 10:57 am

    This looks so good – definitely what I need to wake me up today! I am dragging. Superfood to the rescue, right? And bacon wouldn’t hurt, either. :)

  7. #
    sarah k @ the pajama chef — January 9, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    i’m a huge fan of raw kale salads. cooked kale? not so much, unless it’s in something (eggs, casserole etc). and with bacon–i’m sure that is even better! love it.

  8. #
    Cassie | Bake Your Day — January 9, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    I am such a fan of kale salads. This looks wonderful, Kelly!

  9. #
    JulieD — January 10, 2013 at 11:03 am

    I know Curtis would LOVE this!!

  10. #
    fabiola@notjustbaked — January 10, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    This to me, is perfection, shear perfection.

  11. #
    steph — January 10, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Oh man! My body is craving this HUGE salad!

  12. #
    Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies — January 11, 2013 at 11:41 am

    I’ve always thought that eating raw kale would be rough, but perhaps not when it’s had a bacon bath! YUM!

  13. #
    Allison @ Life's a Bowl — January 11, 2013 at 11:48 am

    This looks delic! I’ve never tried kale but love [turkey] bacon so this would be a great first recipe to try!

  14. #
    Maya @ Alaska from Scratch — January 11, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    I so loved the writing in this post. Made me laugh out loud three times. Hugs from Alaska.

  15. #
    Cass @foodmyfriend — January 12, 2013 at 2:09 am

    What a great healthy salad. So much flavour packed into one dish. Love this!

  16. #
    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — January 13, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    love!! Miss you!!

  17. #
    Lori @ RecipeGirl — January 14, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    Kale salad is one of life’s secret pleasures. Add bacon, and that just makes it even better!

  18. #
    Rhonda Sittig — January 20, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    My husband is a kale lover and actually I much prefer bacon. This is perfect! Dinner this week. Thanks for the beautiful recipe.

  19. #
    Carla @ Gluten Free Recipe Box — January 22, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I love the idea of a warm dressing on a kale salad, as it really softens the leaves. Thanks for the idea! Love your photography! – just beautiful!

  20. #
    midnightvisitor — January 24, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    Oh, my, love these mini footballs. So yummy and cute. The salad looks great, too. Thx for sharing.

  21. #
    Deb — May 29, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Does anyone have nutritional value of this salad? Calories, etc

  22. #
    Carolyn — October 2, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Love, love, love this. Going on my to-make list and I am not just saying that! Bacon…

  23. #
    Jodee Weiland — October 8, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Great recipe…can’t wait to try this delicious salad!

  24. #
    Denise — October 27, 2013 at 7:55 am

    My friend just told me about your blog and also “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook. (also a blog) I just “Liked” his Facebook page and came to your site. It looks terrific. I love when people share blogs with each other. Denise

  25. #
    Ciara — November 3, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! Would it be a big deal if I leave out the sugar?

  26. #
    Sheila — February 15, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Soooooo good! Will be adding it to my rotation!

    • Kelly Senyei replied: — February 16th, 2014 @ 6:01 pm

      Awesome! So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Sheila!


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