A crisp fall salad on a bed of massaged kale, this Pear Fennel and Ricotta Kale Salad will make dinner prep a breeze for those cooler and darker fall evenings.
I’ll be honest guys, I thought by September 29th I’d be diving head first into my soup obsession. But no, San Francisco’s deep dark secret is that summer actually begins in September. While tourists freeze their butts off walking around in shorts in July, the rest of the city is wearing at least 3 layers to avoid Karl The Fog.
But as “Fogust” passes, the sun finally comes out on September 1st and the true San Francisco summer begins.
Though I definitely still ate a stew the other night, I’m finding this hot weather is making me crave all the fresh salads! So while the rest of North America is chugging their pumpkin spice lattes and embracing summer weather, I’m over here sweating in my A/C-less apartment coming up with meals that don’t involve me turning on my oven. Is this what it feels like to be Australian at this time of year?
Now it’s time to get deep…
I really feel like this salad is the perfect allegory for my life. It is nutritious, filling and only takes 15-20 minutes to make. But beyond this, it also combines both fresh, local fruits and vegetables and fantastic pre-made products.
I believe fully in the power of whole foods. But I also understand that sometimes whole foods either aren’t accessible or aren’t an option. Thank goodness we have great products making healthy eating easier. Products like Kite Hill dairy-free cream cheese and ricotta. It truly is god’s gift to the earth. But actually…have you tried it?! I recommend it to all my dairy-free or vegan friends as an awesome cheese substitute made from REAL ingredients. And even though I’m not dairy-free, I still eat it because it’s THAT good.
FYI this post is NOT sponsored by them, I just love their products and team!
When I got home from Expo East a few weeks ago (did you watch my video of that trip?) I was feeling both inspired and jaded by the whole experience. I met brands like Kite Hill that are creating innovative products for people with dietary restrictions or allergies, but I also met companies that are totally jumping on the popularity of the wellness train to sell some superfood supplement that the world really doesn’t need.
I also came home craving vegetables. And no, not vegetables that have been processed a million times over to create a “healthy vegetable chip”.
So this salad is an ode to that experience. To the fresh fruits and veggies I love and the companies that are creating great healthy products that pair perfectly with them.
Of course you can pair this with real cheese ricotta, but you know I always want to give you an option 🙂 Enjoy!Print
Pear Fennel and Ricotta Salad
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 4 as a side
- 1 head of kale, destemmed and chopped
- 1 cup thinly sliced fennel root
- 1 large bosc pear, thinly sliced
- 3 green onions, chopped (whites and light green only)
- 1/2 cup ricotta, I like Kite Hill
- 1/2 cup pecans (optional to toast)
- 2 tbsp olive oil (for massaging kale)
- 1/2 lemon, juiced (for massaging into kale)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 tsp honey
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- In a large bowl combine kale, olive oil and lemon and massage kale thoroughly until completely wilted.
- Top with fennel, pear, green onion, ricotta and pecans.
- In a small bowl combine all dressing ingredients.
- Top salad with dressing to taste.
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