Big, green and packed with flavour – this is a side dish with attitude! Bring a healthy side dish to your holiday table with this kale, apple and wild rice salad that packs a holiday flavour punch with orange, cranberry, and pecans for an unexpected twist on your holiday greens!I am a side dish fan! Invite me to your dinner party, and I will gladly bring a side dish or two (or dessert because you know…). Side dishes are really where the awesome flavours are at, for vegetarians and omnivores alike, but as a vegetarian I really do find that most of my meals are made up of an amalgamation of side dishes, which is just fine by me! Hello crispy golden roast potatoes, sweet and pickled red cabbage, buttery blanched green beans….and that’s just at one of our family Christmas dinners!Today I’m sharing one of my new favourite holiday table side dishes as part of a travelling holiday feast with some of my closest blogging friends! So, once you’ve gathered all you need for this crispy, nutty, hearty holiday kale salad, make sure you visit Leah, Cate, Lynn, and Jess and check out their recipes because our delicious menu reads like this:
- Cocktail:Jolly Holly Cocktail (Leah @ Grain Changer)
- Appetizer: Parmesan Cheese Toast with Brown Sugar Bacon (Cate @ Chez Catey Lou)
- Main: Favourite Baked Ziti (Lynn @ Fresh April Flours)
- Side: Holiday Kale, Apple, and Wild Rice Salad (right here!)
- Dessert: Peppermint Bark Chocolate Cupcakes (Jess @ Sweetest Menu)
And for even more holiday recipe ideas please stop by our Recipes for the Holiday Table board on Pinterest!I wish I could gather these four ladies around my table for a good holiday meal. We would laugh, and cry, and eat some amazing food! And I would be sure to serve a huge bowl of this kale salad because I know they, and you, are going to love it. Let me tell you why:
- You can make this ahead of time, and serve it up to a day afterwards – tick for time saver!
- It serves a crowd and is easily doubled for even bigger festive occasions
- Crispy crunchy kale leaves and fresh apple
- Nibbly bits throughout the salad: wild rice, pecan pieces, cranberries, and parmesan cheese
- An orange, honey and mustard dressing that brings everything together in festive fashion!
- It’s gluten free and vegetarian – your guests with different dietary needs will thank you!
As a host I know it’s getting difficult with everyone’s different dietary needs – this salad solves so many of those and doesn’t sacrifice flavour, or require you to hunt down special ingredients from healthy food stores. Everything you need for this salad can be found in your local grocery store or already in your pantry cupboard! This salad comes together super quickly too: cook your wild rice, massage your kale, dump everything else in and toss well. Allow to rest for an hour and then serve! I like to let my salad rest after I have massaged the kale in the dressing because it breaks down some of the tougher bits of the kale leaves, which makes it a little easier on my tummy – it also gives your kale leaves major flavour! Each bite of this salad is filled with cool and crispy kale leaves, sweet and tart raspberries, crunchy apple pieces, chewy wild rice, roasted pecan bits, and salty parmesan cheese. The flavour combination hits every note you need for a successful side dish! Go ahead, don’t make that garden salad again, take a walk on the wild side(dish)!
Kale, Apple, and Wild Rice Salad
Vegetarian | Gluten free | Serves 4-6 as a side dish
- 3/4 cup wild rice
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 large bunch of kale, chopped (about 8 cups chopped)
- 2 eating apples (choose your favourites)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/3 cup shaved parmesan
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
- Salt and pepper
- Place wild rice and water in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 35-40 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the grains are cooked through but still firm when you bite into them. Allow to cool to room temperature before using.
- While rice is cooking, shred kale into small pieces and place into a large bowl.
- Make dressing by whisking together all ingredients. Pour half the dressing onto the kale and, using freshly washed hands, toss salad very thoroughly until all of the kale leaves are coated in the dressing.
- Halve and core the apple and then dice into small (about dice sized) pieces.
- Once the rice has cooled, drain very thoroughly and add to the kale along with the remaining dressing, apples, pecans, and cranberries and toss very thoroughly.
- Sprinkle shaved parmesan over the salad and then serve, or cover tightly and refrigerate up to one day.
Don’t forget to check out the other amazing dishes in our travelling feast holiday blog dinner!
Tell me, are you a side dish lover? What are your favourite sides?