This Simple Lacinato Kale Salad with Walnuts, Bacon, and Lemon Dressing is packed full of vitamins, minerals and nutrients for a super food brunch.
I recently partnered with Marks and Spencer to create several super brunch recipes using their new cook and dine collection. M&S provided me with the pots, pans, serveware, utensils… and all that was left for me to do was to decide on the recipes to make, and get cooking. Today, I’m sharing one of the four super brunch recipes that I developed for M&S — a Simple Lacinato Kale Salad with Walnuts, Bacon, and Lemon Dressing. This post is sponsored by M&S.
As it’s December already in London, everyone here is missing the sun. Having grown up in California, I’m used to the sun all year round, so during these streaks of grey overcast days, I have been feeling a little homesick…
Since I can’t go home at the snap of my fingers or bring the California sun here, I decided to do the next best thing and share with you what I think is the quintessential Californian recipe: a Simple Lacinato Kale Salad with Walnuts, Bacon, and Lemon Dressing. It is a “simple” salad that’s easy to make, but it is bursting with vitamins, nutrients and flavor!
This Lacinato Kale Salad is a true super brunch
There are a lot of health benefits to tell you about. This Simple Lacinato Kale Salad is a powerful super brunch! Kale is a nutritionally rich food that is full of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins A, C, and E, iron, calcium and potassium. Walnuts are full of heart-healthy fats, and an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
But that’s not all. The lemon dressing will also give you a super boost of goodness. Lemons are brimming with Vitamin C and antioxidants, and olive oil is a healthy fat. And the bacon…well, it’s just too tasty to pass up.
A Lacinato Kale Salad that is delicious and easy to make
For this recipe, I use lacinato kale, which is also known by a few other names including dino kale, Tuscan kale, black kale, Italian kale, or Tuscan cabbage. I prefer lacinato kale for a salad because it’s a bit milder in taste and all the nooks in the leaves absorb and hold any dressing very well. Raw kale can be a bit tough to chew, but when you massage the dressing well into the leaves, the lemon and the olive oil break down and soften the leaves into an enjoyable salad.
I opted to add bacon pieces to this Simple Lacinato Kale Salad because the bacon adds a touch of savory saltiness. Once the bacon grease has been rendered, I toast the walnuts in the grease, so the salty bacon flavor is more evenly distributed throughout the salad. To balance out this saltiness, I add craisins for sweetness and use a lemon dressing for tang. Every forkful of this Simple Lacinato Kale Salad is a flavorful super foods hit.
Get the look from this M&S photoshoot
The M&S Chef Range is a full line of cookware and serveware developed with Marks & Spencer’s in-house chefs so you can cook like a pro in your own home. You can get the look of this salad with the Chef Mini Copper Fry Pan, Chef Walnut Chopping Board, and Hampton Large Serving Bowl. The Chef Mini Copper Fry Pan is the perfect size for toasting a handful of walnuts, and is beautiful to bring to the table as serveware. The Walnut Chopping Board is very sturdy and hardwearing, making it a practical board to chop on. Lastly, the elegant serving bowl completes the look of the kale salad when set on a brunch table.
Simple Lacinato Kale Salad with Walnuts, Bacon, and Lemon Dressing
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (45 milliliters)
- 1 1/2 lemons - juiced
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 bunch lacinato kale (also called cavolo nero, black kale, tuscan kale) (about 4 cups / 200 grams) - with the thick stems removed, washed and roughly chopped
- 7 ounces smoked lardons (200 grams)
- 1 cup walnuts (120 grams) - roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan (60 grams)
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries (40 grams)
In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Pour the dressing over the kale leaves, and using your fingers, rub the dressing into the kale leaves. Make sure to work each of the leaves. Cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow the olive oil and lemon juice to soften the kale.
When you are ready to serve the salad, heat a tablespoon of cooking oil in a small frying pan on medium heat. Add in the lardons and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the fat has rendered and the lardons are starting to brown. Remove the cooked lardons, leaving the grease in the pan. Add in the walnuts and cook, stirring frequently, until the walnuts are lightly toasted, about 3-5 minutes.
Pour the hot bacon and walnut mixture, over the softened kale leaves and toss. Toss in the cranberries and parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
This is the first of the series of Super Brunch recipes I created for M&S that I will be sharing on The Worktop. Find my other two recipes for Huevos Rancheros – Mexican Baked Eggs and Bircher Muesli for Ginger, Apples and Poppy Seeds on the M&S website. Photography for this post was taken by the talented Tim Atkins.