For the media

Crispy kale salad with beets and fig vinaigrette (recipe)

By The Health News Team | November 17, 2023
Kale salad with figs and beets

Salad often plays second fiddle to a table’s main course, but this one shines on its own.

The green base mixes fresh spinach with crispy, air-fried kale, offering a dose of iron and antioxidants. And the roasted beets, complemented by goat cheese, can help protect your heart while reducing blood pressure.

But arguably, the best part of this recipe is the dressing — a fruity fig vinaigrette with a sharp balsamic base.

“I love using fresh, farmers market veggies for this salad,” says James Sullivan, an outpatient pharmacist with the Sharp Resource Network, who is also a classically trained chef and professional food photographer. “Whether you make it as part of a daily plant-based diet or are serving it at your holiday table, these are fresh flavors at their finest.”

Kale Salad with Roasted Beets and Fig Vinaigrette

Prep time:
30 minutes
Total time:
45 minutes


  • 2 bunches organic kale

  • 1 cup walnuts

  • 4 medium beets

  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil

  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette

  • 3 ounces ripe figs (use 1 ounce to dress the plate)

  • 1 ounce goat cheese

  • 2 cups organic spinach

  • Salt and black pepper, to taste



Roast the Beets

Clean and peel the beets. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Chop each beet into quarters and place them on a roasting pan. Toss the beets with avocado oil, salt and pepper. Roast for approximately 35 minutes, or until they are tender to a fork. Remove and set aside for later.


Air-Fry the Kale

Thoroughly clean, dry and rough chop the kale. Add the kale to a large bowl and drizzle with avocado oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Using two wooden spoons, mix the kale until thoroughly coated. In batches, place the kale into an air fryer and cook until crispy (a few minutes, depending on the air fryer).


Toast the Walnuts

Gently crush the walnuts into medium-sized pieces. In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, roast the walnuts until browned and aromatic, about 2 to 5 minutes. Remove and place into a small bowl for later.


Prep the Fig Vinaigrette

Place 2 ounces of rinsed figs into a small sauce pot. Add 4 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and heat on the stovetop over medium heat. Bring the fig and balsamic mixture to a rolling boil and reduce heat. Simmer figs until tender and falling apart. Using a wooden spoon, gently mix figs until it becomes a mixture. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and set the vinaigrette portion aside.


Plate the Salad

Divide and layer the spinach, beets, kale and remaining uncooked, quartered figs on four plates. Sprinkle walnuts and pieces of goat cheese. Drizzle desired amount of fig vinaigrette on salad, season with black pepper and serve immediately.

Nutrition facts per serving: Calories = 416; Fat = 29 grams; Sugar = 20 grams

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