Kale and Fennel Salad with Homemade Gluten Free Croutons

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


for the croutons

½ loaf of gluten free sourdough bread (such as Coco Bakes), cut into ¾” cubes (about 3 cups)

2 Tbsp. olive oil

½ tsp. fine sea salt

several grinds of fresh black pepper

for the dressing

3 Tbsp. champagne vinegar (white wine vinegar works too)

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

pinch of fine sea salt

several grinds of black pepper

1 small shallot, finely chopped (about 2 Tbsp.)

5 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. maple syrup

for the salad

1 bunch Tuscan kale (also called lacinato or dinosaur kale)

1 fennel bulb

1 honeycrisp apple


1. Make the croutons: preheat oven to 375°F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine bread cubes, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Spread oiled bread cubes on parchment lined baking sheet and place in oven to toast for 20 minutes (toasting time may vary depending on bread used). Bread may not be browned, but do not over toast – bread will become too tough. Remove croutons and set aside to cool.

2. While croutons toast, prepare vinaigrette: combine all dressing ingredients (champagne vinegar through maple syrup) in a small mason jar and shake well.

3. Prepare salad: Rinse and dry kale and slice into thin ribbons. Add to bowl with half of dressing and “massage” with hands for about 1 minute to break down the fiber of the kale. Slice off bottom ¼” of fennel bulb and, using thinnest setting on mandolin slicer, slice fennel bulb into thin “ribbons”. Cut apple into thin slices and then into matchsticks, working around the core. Add fennel, apple, croutons, and remainder of dressing (save a Tbsp. or so) to bowl with kale and toss together. Taste and add more dressing if necessary. Serve and enjoy.

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