Spring has officially sprung! Although it seems like we went straight from “winter” to hot as heck summer real quick. Hopefully you’re not fighting 90 degree temps in your neck of the woods yet! I don’t usually get super hungry when its hot out and that calls for one thing and one thing only, salads for daaaays. A light salad for lunch or dinner suits this darn weather right and I have to admit, this one right here with bacon and pears and THE best roasted almonds is doin a mighty fine job.
Have we not talked before about my obsession with Trader Joes? It’s pretty much like heaven on earth, at least in my book. I buy everything there from cold brew coffee to salsas and plantain chips to trail mix, I mean everything! There may or may not be a post on my favorite TJ’s items coming to ya soon. Obsessed. Last week while I was browsing the aisles, taking my sweet ass time (sorry, mom) I came across a bag of mixed greens that caught my eye. It was a mix of kale, shaved brussel sprouts, broccoli, and green as well as red cabbage. We’ve hit the motherload of cruciferous veggie mixes! Hence it’s name of “Cruciferous Crunch” mix. Do yourself a favor and grab a pack next time you’re shopping. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near by, any ol lettuce will do but this mix adds a delightful crunch that’s perfect!
The real superstar of this salad is the almonds. Roasted with honey, fresh rosemary, and simple spices, these pack a flavor punch that make this salad exquisite. The bacon also adds a salty bite up against the sweet pear. Here we go again with the sweet and salty. I can’t get enough!
Kale Salad with Bacon, Pear, & Rosemary Honey Almonds
for rosemary honey almonds:
1 cup raw almonds
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
small pinch cayenne pepper
small pinch pepper
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 350. Mix oil, honey, rosemary, cayenne, salt and pepper in medium sized bowl. Add almonds and toss with honey mixture, coating all over. Transfer to parchment lined baking sheet and arrange nuts in a single layer. Bake for 10 minutes, and allow to cook on baking sheet before removing.
for the salad:
1 bag Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Lettuce Mix, or lettuce of choice
1 batch rosemary honey almonds
3 thick slices of bacon, chopped
1 Bosch pear, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon reserved bacon fat
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
In a medium sauce pan, fry up the bacon until done. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the bacon drippings and add to a small mixing bowl. Add the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and dried sage and whisk to combine.
In a large serving bowl, add the lettuce mix, almonds, bacon, and pear. Top with dressing and toss to combine.