Christmas Kale & Pomegranates Salad


This is a recipe that Mara got from Mark & Vickie Gresge one year, after eating at Charlottesville’s L’Etoile restaurant (now L’Etoile Catering).  The green kale combined with red pomegranates make this salad into a very festive addition to any meal.  It’s a bit more work than most kale salads, but I can testify that it’s worth the effort!

You can buy champagne vinaigrette, however, most store-bought salad dressings use soybean oil as the base vs. olive oil, so always read the label!  This vinaigrette recipe below is quick to make. Bon appétit!


  • 3 bunches of organic kale 
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup of seeds or 2 whole pomegranates
  • ¾ cup organic walnuts, chopped into quarters (or pecans)
  • 1/3 cup organic maple syrup
  • 1 cup organic goat cheese (optional)
  • 1/2 cup shallot or red onion slivers (optional)


  • 1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp organic Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 tbsp organic lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped


Prepare the kale by holding the bottom of the stems and folding the leafy part together. Tuscan kale can usually be easier to cut like this, though I've used both types.  Cut along the stem so you have two sides of the leaves left.  I save the stems and use them for juicing.  You can also chop the stems and use in a stir fry.

Next, roll the leaves as you would roll a cigar or rug. Cut the rolled leaves so that they make thin strips.  My strips are between ¼ and ½ inch.

Lastly, massage the kale slices with your hands for several minutes to soften them. 

Walnuts: In a medium frying pan, fry them until they start to brown.  Add the maple syrup and simmer on low heat for 2 or 3 minutes while the maple syrup bubbles.  Transfer the walnuts onto a tray lined with parchment or baking paper and spread them out so they are not touching. Let them cool for several minutes.

Pomegranate: The easiest way to deseed a pomegranate is under water.  This YouTube video shows how. Mara used this water method, however, if I can find fresh seeds already in a container, I’ll buy them to save time.

Dressing: Whisk together the Dijon mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, pepper, and garlic in a bowl. Slowly add in the olive oil while continuing to whisk until well mixed. 

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