The perfect salad for grilling season! It’s sweet, tangy, creamy & topped with the easiest homemade candied pecans!
Kale salads have always been my go-to side dish (especially when it’s for a potluck or party). But usually I’ll stick to the same salad ingredients, using the same dressing and it can just get so…boring. That’s when it occurred to me…what if I grilled my fruit instead?!😲 Game. Changer. Yes it still has the same fruit and yes it still has the same dressing BUT the fruit has now been elevated by 1000%! Which just makes your salad so much more flavorful! This grilled plumcot kale salad definitely needs to be on your to make list this summer loves! It’s sweet and creamy with a touch of smokiness from the grill and loaded with all your favorite summer flavors!
Ingredients for your plumcot kale salad
- Green kale: Provides a sturdy base for your salad. Look for bunches that are firm and have no yelloe spots.
- Plumcots: Look for plumcots that are slightly underripe for this recipe. (They’ll stay intact better once they’re grilled.)
- Honey goat cheese: Adds creaminess and a subtle sweetness to your salad! (Plain goat cheese can also be used instead!)
- Cinnamon candied pecans: Not a fan of pecans? Try using almonds instead!
- Maple-balsamic vinaigrette: A sweet and tangy dressing that ties your salad ingredients together! (Plus it’s only 3 ingredients too!)
What is a plumcot?
A plumcot is a hybrid fruit that’s a combination of a plum and apricot. Most varieties tend to taste more plum-like and are very sweet with a tangy skin. I just happened upon this little fruit during a trip to Sprouts and was completely blown away by the different varieties they had! Red, black, green, even dapple! Which was 100% the inspiration for this fun and unique summer salad. I always enjoy strolling through Sprouts to see what new produce they have and this time they did not disappoint!
Not a fan of plumcots? Use plums, peaches or even apricots instead!
How to grill plumcots
- Preheat your grill to medium high heat.
- Then cut the plumcots in half & discard the pits.
- Place theyour plumcots on a tray and brush all sides with a lihgt coat of olive oil.
- Once the grill is hot, place the plumcots on the grill cut side down. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes or until they’re warmed all the way through.
- Transfer the plumcots to a tray and let them cool slightly before serving.
*Note: This method also works for plums, peaches & apricots!
Easy Cinnamon Candied Pecans
This is my favorite way to make candied nuts! There’s no oven required, no refined sugar and you only need 4 ingredients!
- Add your pecans, maple syrup, salt and cinnamon to a large pot on the stove and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
- Once it starts to boil, turn the burner down to medium low and let the nuts simmer for 20-25 minutes. (Stir occasionally to prevent burning. The nuts will go through 3 phases before they’re done: 1) Very liquidy. 2) A thicker syrup starts to form. 3) The syrup starts to evaporate and crystalize onto your nuts.)
- Once the syrup has crystalized, pour your pecans onto a tray lined with parchemnt paper and spread them out to cool. Store them in a plastic container once completely cooled.
Don’t like pecans? Try this method with almonds or walnuts instead!
The best plumcot kale salad recipe
- Make your candied pecans. Add your ingredients to a large pot on the stove and let them simmer until the syrup crystalizes and becomes the perfect candied consistency! (These can be made a few days in advance and stored in a plastic container.)
- Grill the plumcots. Fire up the grill and cook your plumcots until they’re warmed throughout. Set them aside to cool while you prepare the rest of your salad.
- Make the dressing. Whisk your dressing ingredients together and keep it chilled in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
- Massage your kale. Place you kale leaves in a large bowl and drizzle them with a touch of olive oil. Using your hands, massage the leaves for at least 5 minutes or until they soften and turn bright vibrant green.
- Plate your salad. Place the kale on a plate and top it with your grilled plumcots and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle your desired amount of dressing over the top and sprinkle with your candied pecans. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Why you’ll love this summer salad recipe
- Perfect mix of sweet and salty! Juicy plumcots, slightly salty candied pecans and tangy balsamic-maple vinaigrette! This easy summer salad has it all!
- Elegant & fun! Looking for a dish to impress your guests? This is it! With a few extra steps you’re able to transform this salad into a restaurant worthy dish!
Need it gluten free? Great news, it already is!
Need it dairy free? Omit the goat cheese or use your favorite vegan goat cheese brand! (Ours is Spero.)
More kale salad recipes you might like:
- Mixed Berry Kale Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
- Mexican Street Corn Kale Salad
- Summer Peach & Bluberry Kale Salad
- Apple, White Cheddar & Toasted Pecan Kale Salad
- Citrus & Pomegranate Kale Salad
[Made one of my recipes? Make sure to tag my social media @kalefornia_kravings – I love seeing what you create!]
Grilled Plumcot Kale Salad with Cinnamon Candied Pecans
For the candied pecans:
- 2 cups raw pecans
- ½ cup maple syrup (use the real stuff!)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
For the kale salad:
- 1 bunch of green kale, leaves cut off the stem and chopped (about 6-8 cups)
- 4 plumcots
- 4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled (about a ½ cup)
For the maple-balsamic vinaigrette:
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (I use extra light tasting)
To make the vinaigrette:
- Whisk all of your ingredients together in a bowl and keep it chilled in the frdige while you prepare the rest of your salad.
To make the candied pecans:
- Mix your pecans, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt together in a pot and bring it to a boil over medium heat.
- Once the syrup starts to boil, turn the burner down to medium-low and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes. (Stir them occasionally to prevent burning. The pecans will go through 3 phases before they're done: 1) The maple syrup will be very "liquidy". 2) A much thicker syrup starts to form. 3) The syrup will evaporate and crystalize onto your pecans.)
- Once the syrup starts to crystalize, pour your pecans onto a tray lined with parchment paper and spread them out to cool completely. Once they're completely cool you can store them in a plastic container until you're ready to eat.
To make the salad:
- Preheat your grill to medium high heat. Then cut your plumcots in half and discard the pits. Place your plumcots on a tray and brush them all over with olive oil.
- Once the grill is hot, place your plumcots cut side down on the grill, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes (or until they're warm throughout). Then transfers your fruit to another tray to cool.
- While the plumcots are cooling, add your chopped kale to a bowl and drizzle it with a small amount of olive oil. Using your hands, massage the kale for at least 5 minutes or until the leaves begin to soften and turn a bright green color.
- To serve, place the kale on a plate and top it with your grilled plumcots and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle your desired amount of dressing over the top and sprinkle with your candied pecans. Serve immediately and enjoy!