How to make Monday better: add GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS to your salad. Honestly, I never want to eat a salad without grilled cheese croutons ever again. If only, right?!
This salad SCREAMS fall and screams not-boring-and-also-healthier-comfort-food. Which is what I aim for always. I absolutely love my salads, and eat at least one if not two every single day, but sometimes you just need more than greens, veggies, and dressing. That is where this salad comes in.
The combination of brie and white cheddar in this sammie is to die for. I also used a super crusty and seedy bread which I highly recommend. You need something sturdy that won’t fall apart when cut into little cheesy croutons.
Why didn’t I think of this before?
Apple and bacon..another match made in heaven. When combined with grilled cheese, the combination is even better. The hearty kale is the perfect base for this fall salad, and the apple cider maple vinaigrette ties everything together. I’m addicted.
Fall is my favorite time of year, period. It’s also my favorite time of year to play around with fun salads. It might sound kind of backwards, but I actually eat more salads in fall and winter than I do in summer.
I also start craving smoothies when the weather starts to get chiller, and drink them far more often for breakfast in the colder months than I do in summer. Weird, right? I have no idea why.
Another great thing about this recipe is that it can be made the day before, since the kale is so hearty. Minus the grilled cheese croutons, of course. You wanna make those right before serving so that they’re melty and warm and perfect.
I mean, what could be better?
Apple Bacon Kale Salad with Brie Cheddar Grilled Cheese Croutons
- For the SALAD:
- 1 head curly kale, de-stemmed and chopped
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1 honeycrisp apple, diced
- 4 thick slices crusty grainy bread
- 3 oz. white cheddar, freshly grated
- 4 ounces brie, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- For the apple cider maple DRESSING:
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine all dressing ingredients except for the olive oil and whisk to combine. Slowly stream in the olive oil, whisking to combine. Set aside.
- Place kale in a large bowl and add a few tablespoons of the dressing. Massage the kale for a couple minutes until it starts to break down and soften. Set aside while you make the grilled cheese croutons.
- Preheat nonstick skillet to medium heat. Spread one side of each slice of bread with the butter. Place two slices butter side down in the skillet. Top with cheddar and brie, and place other bread slices on top.
Cook for about 5 minutes per side, until bread is golden and cheese is melty. Let sandwiches cool for a few minutes, then slice into "croutons". Add chopped apple and bacon to the kale and toss. Portion onto plates, top with the grilled cheese croutons, and extra dressing!
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