Not only is this kale and cranberry salad chock full of nutrients but it tastes absolutely sensational!! Brimming with bright colours it would make an exciting addition to your festive table.
In this kale and cranberry salad bright green kale is paired with beautifully charred asparagus, creamy Camembert and ruby red tart cranberries to make an elegant salad combination. While our roasted hazelnut dressing adds a wonderful creaminess.
What’s the Difference between Brie and Camembert?
Both these infamous soft French cheeses are made with cows milk, are soft or bloomy ripened and have a white, flowery rind.
During production, cream is added to brie but not to Camembert which makes Brie
60% milkfat while Camembert is only 45%.
Camembert uses stronger lactic starters that are put into the cheese mould five times, while Brie only does this once. Making Camembert a stronger flavoured cheese.
The cheese moulds, in most cases, are different – Brie is taller and smaller, Camembert is flatter and rounder.
Inside a Brie will be whitish while camembert has a yellowish colour.
A ripe Camembert will be runny on the inside while Brie will always remain firm because of stabilisers.
Brie has a light buttery taste with salty overtones while Camembert with an earthy, savoury, umami flavour.
Can they be used interchangeably?
In my personal opinion, you can use Brie and Camembert interchangeably, they have similar appearances and both have wonderfully soft and creamy textures.
The only real difference is that Camembert has a much stronger taste. So it is up to you, if you are not a fan of Camemberts stronger flavour then by all means swap it for a Brie.
Or you may like to go in a different direction altogether and try a goats cheese instead for a tangy, salty alternative. It also works really well in this salad.
How to make Kale and Cranberry Salad
Place all your dressing ingredients in a small food processor or blender.
Blitz until well combined, it is not necessary for it to be completely smooth.
Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
If your dressing is too thick add some water to loosen it.
Wash your kale under cold running water, either rip the leafy parts of the kale from the ribs or cut them off with a knife then discard the ribs. Finely shred your kale leaves.
Place your kale leaves in a large mixing bowl, add some salt and your dressing and gently rub the leaves together for approximately 3-5 minutes to soften your kale for a more palatable salad. Don’t overdo it as you don’t want your kale to turn to mush.
Wash your asparagus and remove the woody ends, do this by holding the asparagus about halfway down the spear and bending the stalk until it snaps.
Use it as a guide to cut the rest of your asparagus stalks by lining them up together and cutting off with a sharp chef’s knife.
Then cut the asparagus into 2.5cm (1 inch) pieces.
In a hot large pan add the oil and the asparagus and sauté until golden and tender (approximately 5-10 minutes).
Allow the asparagus to cool slightly,
4ASSEMBLE KALE AND CRANBERRY SALAD
In your mixing bowl with the kale add your asparagus, cranberries and hazelnuts then mix well to combine, place in a salad bowl or platter.
Cut your Camembert into wedges or small rectangles then arrange on top of your salad. Do this half an hour before serving so that your Camembert ripens and becomes nice and gooey. Enjoy!
I really love it when I am entertaining large groups as I can make it the day before, keep it covered in the fridge and just top it with the Camembert a half an hour before serving to allow the cheese to ripen. An absolute lifesaver!
This is really a good all-round salad that is ideal to serve with a variety of grilled or roasted meats, poultry or seafood.
Tips and variations for Kale and Cranberry Salad
- As mentioned above you can make this salad the day before and top with the Camembert half an hour before serving. It tastes even better this way!
- You can also prepare the kale the day before and assemble the salad on the day.
- The dressing can be made up to a week in advance but may need to loosen it with some water as it will thicken.
- If you are not a fan of kale you can substitute with a bag of mixed greens however you will have to make the salad just before serving.
- If you can’t find asparagus try substituting with green beans either fresh or frozen. If you are using frozen beans make sure you defrost and dry before sautéing otherwise they become soggy and will not brown.
- You can easily substitute the hazelnuts for any nut that takes your fancy – roasted almonds and walnuts are good alternatives.
- As an alternative, you can try dried currants, craisins or dried cherries instead of cranberries.
Looking for more kale salads to try…
- Salad Spinner
- Small Food Processor or High-Speed / Bullet Blender
- ½ bunch kale (approximately 200 grams)
- 2 bunches asparagus (approximately 400 grams)
- ½ cup cranberries (dried)
- ¼ cup hazelnuts (roasted)
- 200 grams Camembert (1 wheel)
- ¼ cup hazelnuts (roasted)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- Place all your dressing ingredients in a small food processor or blender, season then blitz to combine. If you dressing is too thick add some water to loosen it.
- Wash your kale and rip the leafy parts from the ribs, discard the ribs chop finely.
- Add chopped kale to a large mixing bowl, season, then pour over the dressing.
- Massage the kale for 3-5 minutes until tender but don’t overdo it.
- Wash and trim your asparagus and cut into 2.5cm (1 inch batons).
- Add to a large heated pan and sauté until golden and tender (approximately 5-10 minutes). Do not overcrowd the pan, sauté in batches if you have to.
- Allow the asparagus to cool slightly.
- Cut your Camembert into small wedges or rectangles.
- Add all ingredients (except the Camembert) to the bowl with the massaged kale.
- Mix well to combine then arrange in a salad platter. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
- Top with brie, serve and enjoy!