Kale and Radicchio Salad with Fresh Cranberry Vinaigrette
A super festive salad for any holiday table! This Kale and Radicchio Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette is just as tasty as it is pretty. With tons of harvest-themed toppings and a punchy fresh cranberry based vinaigrette to finish it off!
Growing up, we had a salad with dinner every single night. It was eaten after the meal (v. Italian) and was typically the same combination of green and red leaf lettuce, carrots, cucumber, red peppers and red onion.
Except on holidays, when we always tried to do something festive!
This Kale and Radicchio Salad has been one of my contributions to Thanksgiving dinner for the past couple years. It’s a bracing combination of bitter greens – kale and radicchio (for color.. and flavor) – mixed with sweet apples, crunchy almonds, red onion and dried cranberries. Finished with a punchy fresh cranberry vinaigrette.
Let’s take a minute to chat cranberries.
They’re such an underappreciated fruit, since they only ever seem to pop up as cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving dinner. And in a mixed drink here and there.
But fresh cranberries are a deliciously fun sweet-sour bite. And this cranberry vinaigrette takes them to a whole new level. With the addition of orange juice for a touch of sweet, thyme for some herbacious-ness and lots of quality oil, it’s the perfect counterpoint to the bitter kale and radicchio in the salad.
The rest of the toppings can be totally up to you. I love including dried cranberries for their sweetness, chewy texture and gorgeous pop of color. Sliced apples make for a lovely sweet crunch against the tough greens. Almonds are there for crunch and toastyness and the red onion provides a necessary peppery bite.
If you’re feeling a bit of smokiness, then the addition of some crumbled bacon is really, truly lovely. But entirely not necessary to the success of the salad.
This Kale and Radicchio Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette is such a perfect counter balance to all the rich, savory, sometimes mushy, meaty dishes on the holiday table. And we’re always here for balance.
Need more holiday recipes? Try these family faves:
Sausage and Rice Stuffing with Almonds and Apples
Whole Smoked Turkey
Classic Stuffing with Sage and Onions
Tart Whiskey Cranberry Sauce
Quick Fool-Proof Herbed Gravy
Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Chipotle Butternut Squash and Bacon
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta with Sage and Spicy Sausage
Vegan Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie
This festive salad is perfect to serve at any holiday table. Or add a little leftover roast turkey or chicken for delicious leftovers!
- 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
- 1 radicchio, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup almond slices
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1 medium pink lady or jazz apple, sliced thinly
- 1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
- 2 slices bacon, cooked and chopped (optional)
- 1/3 cup fresh cranberries
- 2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
In a small blender, combine fresh cranberries, red wine vinegar, orange juice, thyme, salt and pepper. Buzz until cranberries are finely minced, then slowly drizzle in the vegetable oil to emulsify. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine chopped kale and radicchio, almond slices, cranberries, apple slices, red onion and bacon, if using. Drizzle on the dressing and toss well to coat and combine. Serve immediately.