Kale Salad with Caraway Seed Vinaigrette, Pickled Red Onions, and Gruyère Cheese Croutons Recipe


Classic deli flavors inspire this robust winter salad.

Prep Time: 45 min

Total Time: 165 min

Servings: 6


  • 3/4 cup preservative-free white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 small organic red onion, sliced and separated into rings
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons preservative-free cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds, toasted and slightly crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 4 cups pumpernickel bread cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup (3 oz.) shredded Gruyère cheese
  • 8 ounces organic Tuscan (dinosaur) kale, washed, stems removed and thinly sliced


1. In small saucepan combine white vinegar, water, 3 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 teaspoons of the salt, cloves, peppercorns, bay leaf and red pepper. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat. Add onion. Return to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 5 minutes. Use slotted spoon to remove onion from liquid. Cool onion and liquid separately. When completely cooled, pour reserved liquid over onion. Store in refrigerator.

2. For caraway vinaigrette, in small bowl whisk together 1/3 cup olive oil, 3 tablespoons cider vinegar, caraway seeds, the 1 teaspoon remaining salt and 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup.

3. In salad bowl toss together pumpernickel cubes and the 2 tablespoon solive oil. Transfer to 15- x 10- x 1-inch baking pan. Bake at 400° F for 7 to 10 minutes or until crisp, stirring once or twice. Turn off oven. Push bread cubes together so they are touching each other. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Return to oven just until cheese melts.

4. Use a slotted spoon to remove 3/4 cup of the onion from the liquid. (Reserve the remaining onion in the vinaigrette for another use.) In the same salad bowl toss together kale and the 3/4 cup onion. Fold in half of the cheese-topped croutons. Sprinkle the remaining croutons on top. Serve with the caraway vinaigrette.