blissful eats with tina jeffers: Kale cranberry and breadcrumb salad

I’m having a little dinner party on Saturday and I hate having to spend most of the evening in the kitchen preparing a meal when everyone else is hanging out laughing and having a good time.  The more I entertain the more I realize that planning ahead and finding dishes that can be prepared ahead of time save me a lot of stress and headaches.

This is one of my new favorite salads for parties since I can make it early in the day and all I have to do to serve it is the sprinkle it with a few toppings.  Kale salads actually benefit from sitting around awhile after you dress them, the tough leaves soften slightly and the flavors have time to meld.  It’s a really easy salad to put together and most of the ingredients are things you can keep on hand.  I really like to offer salads to guests that they don’t see everyday and the addition of the breadcrumbs makes this one unique.  If you are making this ahead of time put the whole thing together except for the breadcrumbs and add them when you are ready to serve.

I’m also going to test out a new recipe for chard and mushroom enchiladas with poblano cashew cream since we’ll have a few vegans joining us for dinner.  I’ll be sure to share the recipe with you all next week if it turns out as well as I hope!

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Kale cranberry and breadcrumb salad




For the salad:


1 bunch of kale (about 6 cups)

¼ cup slivered toasted almonds

½ cup dried cranberries

¼ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

1 slice whole grain bread or ¼ cup breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon olive oil

salt and pepper


For the dressing:


1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic

salt and pepper to taste



Remove the tough inner ribs on the kale, slice into ribbons and place in a large bowl.


In a food processor or blender tear the bread into small pieces and process until fine crumbs form.  Heat the teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat, add the breadcrumbs and cook for 3-5 minutes until the breadcrumbs are toasted and start to brown.  Set aside to cool.


In a small bowl, grate the garlic using a micro plane grater.  Alternatively you can smash the garlic with the back of a knife, add a sprinkle of salt and crush the garlic until a smooth paste forms.  Add the vinegar and lemon juice to the garlic and then slowly whisk in the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.


To dress the salad, pour the dressing over the kale and using your fingers work the dressing into the leaves making sure that everything is well coated.  Add the cranberries, Parmesan, almonds and ¾ of the breadcrumbs to the mixture and toss to combine.  Garnish the salad with the remaining breadcrumbs when you are ready to serve.  

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