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Kale Salad with Sweet Shallot Vinaigrette

Posted by RDelicious Kitchen
January 05, 2018
Featured in: Culinary Corner, Salads
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Dress up any salad with this delicious sweet shallot vinaigrette

Dress up any salad with this delicious sweet shallot vinaigrette.

by, Julie Harrington

I don’t think people realize how EASY it is to make a homemade dressing. The most basic vinaigrette recipe is one part acid mixed with three to four parts base (oil). Then just add seasonings you enjoy. Simply pour ingredients into a mason jar and shake away. Your dressing is made! How easy was that? Plus, making it in a mason jar is ready to store any leftovers. 

If you want to go beyond the basics, use this guide to build your own vinaigrette.

Dress up any salad with this delicious sweet shallot vinaigrette

Choose your acid:

This can be in the form of vinegars or citrus juice. Pick something that matches with your salad mix-ins. Opt for a sweet acid like white wine vinegar or white balsamic vinegar for salads that have fruit. 

Try acids like apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, rice vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice, or other citrus juices. 

Tip: Think about the components of your salad. If you have a salad with bright colors, avoid darker vinegars. Once the salad is dressed, those bright vibrant colors will look muddy. Remember – we eat with our eyes first! 


Choose your base:

The base is the oil. Use good quality oil. This can be a simple olive oil or fancy garlic and rosemary infused walnut oil. Again think about the components of your salad. If there are avocados in your salad, why not try avocado oil? 

Try oils like olive oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, pumpkin seed oil, hazelnut oil, or other flavor infused oils. 


Add seasonings:

If you are new to making dressings, a simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing with a pinch of salt and pepper will work just fine. Once you are comfortable making dressings, try amping it up with other seasonings. 

Add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard to add a little tanginess and also to help create a creamier vinaigrette. Add a teaspoon of miso for an umami flavor. Try using fresh herbs for a pop of flavor. For a sweet vinaigrette, add a little maple syrup or honey. 


Once you start playing around with different combinations, you’ll start to know what flavor combinations you like best!

Kale is a more bitter green, so I wanted to balance it with a sweeter vinaigrette for this salad. My base is olive oil and my acid is balsamic vinegar. You can easily add raw shallots, but I decided to caramelize mine to add additional sweet note. 

Dress up any salad with this delicious sweet shallot vinaigrette

Now you are a salad dressing pro!

Dress up any salad with this delicious sweet shallot vinaigrette @RD_kitchen
Dress up any salad with this delicious sweet shallot vinaigrette

Kale Salad with Sweet Shallot Vinaigrette


Makes 4 servings


  • 1 bunch kale (about 6 cups), stems removed and chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, cubed and roasted
  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped
  • For the vinaigrette:
  • 1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • ¼ cup + 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • salt, to taste


  1. In a large bowl, add kale and massage. (This will help breakdown the cell walls of the kale, making it more tender.) Add sweet potatoes, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts.

  2. In a small sauté pan, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until translucent. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for an additional minute.

  3. Remove shallots and all other liquid into a small mason jar, let cool. Add remaining ¼ cup olive oil, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and salt to the Mason jar. Secure with lid and shake vigorously. 

  4. Add dressing (a little at a time) to the salad and toss. There may be leftover dressing. Save for later use. 

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RDelicious Kitchen

RDelicious Kitchen
Julie Harrington is the author of the CULINARY CORNER feature on HealthyAperture - a collection of recipes and articles featuring culinary techniques and kitchen gadgets to help everyone get a little more comfortable cooking in their kitchens. Her recipes feature culinary techniques that can help grow your own culinary skills in your kitchen. As a culinary school graduate from Johnson & Wales University and a Registered Dietitian, her passion is educating about nutrition through food! Julie previously worked as a supermarket RD and still continues to keep up with the latest food and nutrition trends. Julie now is a Culinary Nutrition Communications Consultant through her blog RDelicious Kitchen focusing on recipe development and freelance writing. When she is not experimenting in the kitchen, you can find her exploring new restaurants or going on hiking adventures.
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