California Walnuts Dinner Club!



For the dressing:

  • About 1/2 cup walnut halves (about 2 ounces)
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2-3 tablespoons of water


For the salad:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 pieces of bacon, cooked and diced (you could use pancetta if you wish) 
12 ounces kale—stems discarded, leaves finely shredded, (about 6 cups)
2 sweet apples (such as Gala or Fuji), quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
2 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup currants or dried cranberries
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

For the dressing:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small food processor or blender with 2 tablespoons of water, a pinch of salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Blend until smooth and add an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons water to thin out the dressing as desired. Dip some kale into the dressing then taste and adjust flavoring, adding more salt, pepper, or syrup as desired.

For the salad:

  1. Mix apples, kale, endive with lemon juice and dressing and toss to coat. Mound the salad on serving plates, garnish with the currants, bacon, walnuts, and serve.


Original Recipe – I slightly modified

 Overall, I really liked the salad.  I am a huge fan of kale because it’s different than romaine and packed with so many nutrients.  It also holds up much better when made ahead of time and offers lots of “chew”.  I thought it was perfect to serve as a lunch salad or a with a piece of fish on top for dinner. 

The dish was very easy to make because I made a few simple substitutions.  I used bacon instead of pancetta and dried cranberries instead of currants.  Everything was a staple in my house so it was fun to be able to “whip” it together in no time!  I loved that you could add to it without changing the dish too much!

I thought the chef did a great job with the dressing and the combination of flavors.  It was crazy to see how the walnuts made such a cream-like dressing.  This would be perfect for a vegan dinner party if you omitted the bacon.  I am excited to make it again!  In the summer, you could use fresh berries in place of apples and dried fruit!