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Warm Kale Salad with Apples and Pancetta

Camila McConaughey Quinoa and Shrimp Medley + Warm Kale Salad
Camila McConaughey Quinoa and Shrimp Medley + Warm Kale SaladNathan Congleton / TODAY


  • 1 bag kale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1/2 a small lemon)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 4 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 small shallot finely minced (1/4 cup or 40 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Red Delicious apple, unpeeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup goji berries
  • Shaved Parmesan, for finishing

Chef notes

This warm salad is wonderful all year long, but especially this time of year during the colder months. It is packed with flavor and a perfect start to any winter meal.

Technique tip: Ever wonder why your kale doesn't seem as soft and as tasty as the ones you get in restaurants? Well, it is because before preparing any recipes with kale, you need to massage and break down the leaves! Start by softening the kale by drizzling a little olive oil, a little lemon juice and a little kosher or flaky salt. Massage the kale to break it down slightly, but not too much. The consistency changes and the great flavors come out.



Start by softening the kale by drizzling it with a little olive oil, a little bit of lemon and salt. Massage the kale so that it breaks down just a little, but not too much, as this will be a warm salad.


Add the pancetta to a large sauté pan set over medium-low heat. Cook until brown and most of the fat has rendered, about 10 minutes.


While the pancetta cooks, wash the kale, remove the tough inner ribs and cut into 1-inch ribbons.


Once the pancetta is brown, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the shallots and cook 5-7 minutes, or until the shallots are golden around the edges and cooked through.


Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, mustard and red wine vinegar.


Pour the warm vinaigrette over the kale. Add the apples and goji berries and toss to combine. Sprinkle with shaved Parmesan to finish.