This satisfying Pear Kale Salad with Candied Almonds and Crumbled Feta pairs sweet and savory flavors with creamy and crunchy textures.
This salad is for those of you who love kale, as well as those of you don't! I've had a lot of people ask me for a kale salad that tastes good, and this is it.
Hopefully you dig kale as much as I do, but if not you might enjoy the other components of this salad that you really don’t mind the kale.
With fresh sweet pear, creamy salty feta, and crunchy candied almonds, there's something for everyone. And this salad lends itself well to substitutions, so you can customize it to suit your tastes!
Pear Kale Salad Recipe with Feta and Candied Nuts
This pear salad is a great combination of sweet, salty, creamy, and crunchy.
There isn't really one star of the show.
Velvety-textured aromatic pear is a nice contrast with the savory earthy flavor and crunchy texture of kale.
Sweet candied almonds provide nutty crunch and go well with the creamy tang of crumbled feta.
It’s a very flavorful salad, and perfect as lunch for two or as a dinner side dish for four.
It has a very harvest-time fall-ish feel to it, so it would be great if you’re planning an autumnal dinner party.
- Apple cider vinegar - adds a bit of tangy flavor to our quick vinaigrette and helps to tenderize the kale
- Extra-virgin olive oil - this healthy fat is part of our salad dressing
- Salt and pepper - to season our salad
- Onion - for savory flavor; its flavor mellows as it sits in the dressing
- Kale - the leafy green base of our salad
- Red pear - for creamy sweetness
- Crumbled feta - adds creamy texture and salty flavor
- Candied almonds - gives this salad a delicious sweet crunch
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: Make the Vinaigrette:
Whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, and then toss in the onion. Or you can use store-bought salad dressing to skip this step.
Step 2: Tenderize the Kale:
Stir the kale into the dressing, making sure that it’s coated well in the dressing, and let the salad sit for 15 minutes. This helps tenderize the kale.
Step 3: Add the Goodies and Serve:
Transfer the kale mixture to individual salad bowls. Top each with pear, feta, and candied almonds. Serve!
Pro Tip: Best Kale for Kale Salad
If you want the most tender kale for you salad, Tuscan kale (also called Lacinato kale or dinosaur kale), is a great choice. If you use this type of kale, you can skip the 15 minutes for the kale to tenderize.
Variations on This Recipe
- You can use a store-bought salad dressing. I would go for a balsamic vinaigrette!
- Instead of kale, use any type of leafy greens you like. Swiss chard, Romaine lettuce, and baby spinach are all good options.
- If pear isn't your thing, use whatever fruit you like. Sliced apple works well, or use berries, such as blueberries or raspberries.
- Instead of feta, you can use crumbled goat cheese or Mexican queso fresco. Blue cheese is another great option in this salad with kale and pear.
- To cut down on the sugar, you can use regular almonds instead of candied almonds. Or use any type of nuts (candied or not) that you like. Walnuts are another favorite of mine because I love them with pear.
More Salad Recipes to Try
- Winter Salad Recipe with Kale and Pomegranate
- Roasted Pear Salad with Marinated Carrot Zucchini Ribbons
- Chopped Kale Salad
- Creamy Poppy Seed Kale Slaw with Red Pear, Toasted Pepitas, and Golden Raisins
Pear Kale Salad with Candied Almonds and Crumbled Feta
- 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ small onion thinly sliced
- 4 ounces kale de-stemmed, washed, and chopped
- 1 red pear I used a red Anjou pear, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
- 1 ½ ounces feta crumbled
- 6 tablespoons candied almonds homemade or store-bought, chopped
- Whisk together the vinegar, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, and then toss in the onion.
- Stir in the kale, making sure that it’s coated well in the dressing, and let the salad sit for 15 minutes to tenderize the kale.
- Transfer the kale mixture to individual salad bowls. Top each with pear, feta, and candied almonds. Serve.
- Recipe Yield and Serving Size: This recipe serves 2 as a light meal, or 4 as a first course.
- What Type of Kale to Use: I used regular curly leaf kale for this recipe, which is why I like to let it sit in the vinaigrette for 15 minutes to tenderize. If you want the most tender kale for your salad, Tuscan kale (also called Lacinato kale or dinosaur kale, is a great choice. If you use this type of kale, you can skip the 15 minutes for the kale to tenderize.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on October 23, 2014. I updated it with more information on November 30, 2022.