Healthy Holiday Recipes from the Jazzy Vegetarian

Fig, Kale, and Tomato Salad


Although the combination in this salad may sound unusual, crunchy kale, juicy tomatoes, and sweet figs come together to make a delectable holiday salad. This jewel colored dish works beautifully as an impressive salad course.



  • 2 cups finely chopped kale
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons Sweet Balsamic Dressing (see recipe below)
  • 3 to 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 ripe tomato, chopped
  • 4 large dried figs, stemmed and very thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted roasted sunflower seeds


  1. Put the kale into a medium size bowl. Pour 1 tablespoon of the dressing on top of the kale. With clean hands, massage the dressing into the kale. (This will help to break down the tough fibers in the kale, tenderizing it for your salad). Let the kale marinate in the dressing for about 20 minutes.
  2. Put the lettuce, tomato, figs, and sunflower seeds in a large salad bowl. Right before serving, add the kale and more dressing to taste and toss until the greens are evenly coated. Serve at room temperature.


Kale varieties with thinner leaves, such as red russian (also called lacinato or tuscan kale), are best suited for this recipe.

Yield: 2-4 servings

Sweet Balsamic Dressing

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  • 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar or maple sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • Sea salt Freshly ground pepper


  1. To make the dressing, put the oil, vinegar, brown sugar, and mustard in a small bowl and briskly whisk until smooth and emulsified. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  2. NOTE: The dressing makes more than you’ll need for this salad, but it’s a great basic dressing to have on hand and is used in other recipes in this book. Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, leftover dressing will keep for about 1 week. Just whisk it briskly before using.


For a simple alternative dressing, whisk together 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice in a small bowl. Season with sea salt to taste.