"I LOVE this. It’s a twist on a beautiful salad I make at the restaurant and also eat at home. I oven roast the pecans until they’re toasty brown. I let them cool and then chop some of them. I toss the kale and apples with some celery, grated sharp cheddar cheese and a simple red wine dressing. Then, I toss in the nuts. Delicious and simple. It’s a salad that hinges on the combination of the roasted pecans with the juicy apple slices. It’s also the kind of salad that feels seasonal but is great any time. Add a pecan-crusted chicken breast to this and bump it easily up to a main course. I hate it when you have salad leftover and the dressing leaves it limp and wilted the next day. One of the great things about this salad is that it will hold up in the refrigerator without wilting even after the dressing has been added because of the kale. The kale will soften slightly so the salad actually improves over time. I roasted the nuts until really dark, toasty brown and then salt and chop. I let them cool and leave a few whole. I toss the kale and apples with some grated sharp cheddar cheese and a simple red wine dressing. Then, I toss in the nuts and “grate” a few nuts finely over the salad for a cool nut powder. Delicious." – Alex Guarnaschelli
4 cups tightly-packed bite-size Tuscan kale pieces
1 small head radicchio, torn into bite size pieces
1/2 cup sliced celery
1 apple, such as Honeycrisp, Gala or Fuji, cored, quartered and sliced into ½ inch slices
1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375 F. Place the pecans on a baking sheet and roast until they are browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool. Reserve ¼ cup of pecan halves. Transfer the remaining nuts to a flat surface and coarsely chop; set aside.
Whisk the vinegar, honey, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Drizzle in the oil in a slow stream, whisking constantly until the dressing is well blended.
Add the kale, radicchio and celery to the bowl of dressing and toss to thoroughly coat the greens. Stir in the apple slices, cheese and remaining nuts. Top with reserved pecan halves.