Delicious Living
  • ⅓ cup plus 1½ tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons shallots (minced and divided)
  • 1 bunch plus 2 teaspoons fresh thyme (chopped and divided)
  • 4 boneless, skinless, organic, free-range chicken breasts
  • 8–10 dried, unsulfured mission or Turkish figs, reconstituted (or use fresh figs if available)
  • 3 teaspoons honey (divided)
  • ½ plus ⅛ teaspoon sea salt (divided)
  • ¼ plus ⅛ teaspoon black pepper (divided)
  • 1 small garlic clove (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3–4 cups butternut squash (peeled and diced into 2-inch cubes)
  • 1 medium yellow onion (cut into thin slices )
  • ½ pound mushrooms (halved)
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 6–8 cups red or green curly kale (stems removed and chopped)

Hearty Kale & Chicken Salad with Honey-Roasted Fig Balsamic Dressing

Katie Shields, RDN | Delicious Living
  • Serves: 4 people
  • Calories per serving: 885

A thick and creamy caramelized fig balsamic dressing is the perfect complement to hearty kale. It makes simple grilled chicken breasts feel wildly fancy when paired with toasted walnuts and roasted butternut squash. It’s a substantial salad that satisfies without feeling heavy. You can substitute any nuts or seeds for the ones listed.

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Preheat oven to 400°. In a bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon minced shallot and 1 teaspoon thyme. Add chicken and turn to coat evenly. Marinate in refrigerator at least 20 minutes and up to 1 hour.
  2. Reconstitute dried figs by soaking them in a bowl of warm water for 10–15 minutes, until soft and plump.
  3. Cut off fig stems, quarter and spread on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle 1–2 teaspoons honey over figs, and season with ⅛ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Roast in oven for 15 minutes, until caramelized.
  4. Once figs have cooled, in a high-speed blender or food processor, combine figs, remaining 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, remaining 1 tablespoon shallot, remaining 1 teaspoon honey, ¼ teaspoon salt, ⅛ teaspoon pepper, garlic, balsamic vinegar, mustard, water and remaining 1 bunch thyme; purée. The dressing should be fairly thick—use the tamper to incorporate, and stop frequently to scrape sides of blender/food processor until no large fig pieces remain. Add ⅓ cup olive oil in a steady stream with machine on. If you prefer a thinner dressing, simply add more warm water 1 tablespoon at a time and blend to preferred consistency. Set aside. (Can be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week.)
  5. Drain chicken and discard marinade. Grill chicken on medium-high heat for 10–15 minutes until cooked through (internal temperature reaches at least 160°), turning halfway. Remove from grill and cut into bite-size pieces.
  6. While chicken is grilling, toss squash, onions and mushrooms with remaining ½ tablespoon olive oil, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and remaining ⅛ teaspoon pepper; roast on an unlined, rimmed baking sheet at 400° for 20–25 minutes or until slightly crispy; add pumpkin seeds to same baking sheet for the last 3–5 minutes of roasting time. Remove from oven and cool.
  7. While vegetables cool, massage kale with dressing to soften. Assemble salads by arranging 1¼ cups kale, ½ cup roasted vegetables, 1 tablespoon roasted pumpkin seeds and ¼ of the chicken pieces on each plate. If desired, garnish with additional thyme.
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