This delicious Candied Hazelnut Kale Apple Bacon Salad is bursting with flavor and the perfect addition to any dinner, including Thanksgiving.
I can honestly tell you that this is the most delicious salad I’ve had in a very long time. It has everything which equals an explosion of flavors and textures that you will love. You’ll taste bitter and sweet, crunchy and juicy, salty and spicy, chewy and soft. It even keeps well overnight. I tossed the kale and apple in the dressing and stored the leftovers in the refrigerator. I polished off what was left yesterday after a full day in the refrigerator and it tasted just as good, if not better, than the night I made it!
In addition to the bacon, the oh-so-wonderful bacon, I made a batch of candied hazelnuts. I needed to create a whole separate post dedicated to these hazelnuts because they were so tasty.
I picked up this gorgeous dark green kale and these juicy tart granny smith apples at the farmers market this past weekend. Aren’t they just beautiful?
I wanted to cut matchsticks for the apples because those long skinny pieces are easy to stab with a fork and they really absorb the dressing.
Don’t you think a salad like this would impress anyone at the dinner table?
This was definitely one of those recipes that I loved and will make over and over again in the future.
Candied Hazelnut Kale Apple Bacon Salad
- 1 cup hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 16 ounces thickly sliced bacon chopped
- 1 tablespoon cooked bacon fat
- 1/4 cup white wine or white balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons caper brine from a jar of capers
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 Granny Smith apples cut into matchsticks
- 8 ounces kale One 8-ounce bunch kale—stems discarded, leaves finely shredded
- 3 tablespoons chives diced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Place hazelnuts in an oven safe dish and roast for 20 minutes. Transfer to a towel and rub away as many skins as you can. In a bowl, cover the hazelnuts with water. Transfer to a sieve and shake out the water. In another bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar, cayenne, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the hazelnuts and toss. Transfer to a sieve to shake off the excess coating. Arrange the hazelnuts on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the sugar is lightly caramelized and the hazelnuts are golden.
- Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook until crisp in a skillet. Transfer to paper towel lined plate to drain and discard all but the last remaining tablespoon of bacon grease. Whisk the vinegar, olive oil, caper brine, and maple syrup into the bottom of the bacon skillet and set dressing aside.
- In a large bowl, toss apples, kale, and chives with salad dressing. Mound the salad on plates and top with candied hazelnuts and bacon pieces.