Remember salad bars in the 90's? Buckets of ingredients stuffed into ice and raw kale stuffed in between and over the ice so sharp that once I actually cut my arm on it reaching for a pickled asparagus spear! lol

But raw kale does something magical when its left to marinate in breaks down, softens, yielding its delicious dark green nutrition that is miles away from the decoration on a salad bar.  While it absorbs the dressing and softens, it doesn't lose its relentless crunch, and that makes this a beautiful salad to make-ahead and take to a dinner party, or the night before a BBQ. 

Its almost too easy for a recipe, but I thought I would share my homemade creamy balsamic dressing and make it a post.  Plus, look how pretty!

Kale, Shredded Beet & Carrots Salad w/Summer Cherry Tomatoes & Balsamic Vinaigrette

by Chef Heather Mader


1/3rd cup quality balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar

1 shallot, peeled

1 clove garlic, peeled

1-2 tbsp honey (to taste)

1 tbsp whole grain mustard or Dijon

dash of sea salt and pepper

1 to 1 1/4 cups of canola oil or olive oil

2 heads kale, cut into small bite-sized pieces

2 carrots, shredded

1 small beet, shredded

1 pint yellow cherry tomatoes


Combine the vinegar through salt and pepper in a food processor. Turn on the processor andslowly drizzle the oil through the feed tube while its running. Continue adding oil until the mixture becomes thick and light in color. You will hear the sound change in the processor and the mixture will become very thick. Taste and adjust seasonings. Pour desired amount over vegetables and toss to coat. 

Salad is better as it sits for at least 4-6 hours.