Kale is the ideal base for a packable salad, as it only benefits from being made ahead.
Savoury Cranberry Dressing
1 cup (250 mL) fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup (250 mL) chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp (30 mL) balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup
1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground black pepper
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon
1/4 tsp (1 mL) sea salt
2 Tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups (1.5 L) kale, de-stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup (60 mL) roughly chopped pecans
To prepare dressing, in medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all dressing ingredients, except olive oil. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a mini food processor or blender and add olive oil. Pulse to combine, leaving dressing slightly chunky for texture. Cool completely.
To prepare salad, in large bowl, tenderize kale by gently squeezing the torn leaves (this breaks down the fibres, making it more palatable). Mix in chopped pecans. Toss with 1/2 cup (125 mL) of dressing (or more to taste).
Transfer salad to large glass container or individual glass jars, along with salad tongs and forks. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. The salad can be eaten at room temperature, making it easy for transporting to the picnic.
The dressed salad will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, as sturdy kale leaves do not break down the same way as dressed lettuce leaves. Leftover dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and makes a delectable condiment for other savoury foods.
Each serving contains: 139 calories; 3 g protein; 8 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 16 g total carbohydrates (5 g sugars, 4 g fibre); 130 mg sodium
source: “Picnic of Plenty“, alive #384, October 2014