Kale Salad with Orange Dressing for Kale Haters

Kale Salad with Orange Dressing

Kale Salad with Orange Dressing

I am not really a fan of Kale.  You too?  It’s just too bitter.  And that texture!  I can’t get over the feeling I’m chowing down on a pile of freshly raked Autumn leaves.  Shiver.  I love Spinach and other greens in any way you can serve em’, just nope not never Kale.

My sister Cristal spent Christmas with us, and she wanted to make her Kale salad for dinner one nite.  I let her know we were not fans.  Repeatedly.  To no avail.  The strong-willed runs deep in our family.  She swore we would love it.  She promised her special technique would overcome my aversion to the texture, and her orange dressing would balance out that dreaded bitter Kale aftertaste.  I wasn’t happy about it, but I took a little “no thank you” bowl and tucked in.  Huh.  Delicious dressing.  Love the seeds and craisins.  What’s not to love about sweet, crunchy cabbage? Hmmm, the kale was definitely present, but not in the usual “where can I politely spit this out?” way.  I liked it!  It wasn’t just edible, it was craveable!  I’ve made it several times since, and even brought it to small group tonite.  My sister did not leave me with a recipe for the dressing, so I will share my recipe for that.  The pix illustrate my sister’s technique and the ingredients she uses for the salad.  Hopefully it will make a Kale lover out of you too!

Sort thru a big bag of Kale, removing any stems or super-tough leaves, until you have a salad spinner full of Kale.

Sort thru a big bag of Kale, removing any stems or super-tough leaves, until you have a salad spinner full of Kale.  You may have some Kale left over for another use.  Wash and spin dry the Kale (even if it is pre washed).

Chop the Kale into small pieces - the "juice" will stain your board, so use a dark one or one you don't care about.

Chop the Kale into small pieces.  Tip:  the “juice” will stain your board, so use a dark one or one you don’t care about.

Rub the chopped Kale between your hands (kinda like you are "washing your hands with Kale") and drop it into a salad bowl. This will rough up the Kale and tenderize it.

Here’s the real magic trick.  Rub handfuls of chopped Kale between your hands (kinda like you’re washing your palms with Kale) and drop it into a salad bowl. This will rough up the Kale and tenderize it.

Chop up about 2 cups of some kind of cabbage - red, green, etc., and add to the Kale. I had some gorgeous organic Savoy cabbage from the CSA.

Chop up about 2 cups of cabbage – red, green, whatever ya got, and add to the Kale. I had some gorgeous organic Savoy Cabbage from the CSA.

Top the salad with 1 finely minced shallot, ½ cup craisins and ½ cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas). I used sprouted organic pumpkin seeds that we got at Costco

Top the salad with 1 finely minced Shallot, ½ cup Craisins and ½ cup shelled Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas). I used sprouted organic Pumpkin Seeds that we got at Costco.

In a small lidded jar combine the dressing ingredients and shake well.

  • ⅓ cup tart, fresh orange juice – OR – Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar
  • ¼ cup oil (I use grapeseed oil here, but pumpkin seed oil, olive oil, or plain ol’ canola would work fine)
  • ½ a shallot, minced (about 1 Tbsp.)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • ¾ tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • a pinch of citric acid crystals (optional, if you use OJ instead of vinegar – see note below)*
  • 5 drops Boyajian Orange Oil (optional – see note below)*

Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine.  Let salad “marinate” an hour or so in the fridge before serving.  Enjoy!

If you can get your hands on this delicious stuff, you are halfway to Kale Salad. Yes, I am stockpiling it.

If you can get your hands on this delicious stuff, you are halfway to Kale Salad. Yes, I am stockpiling it.

* Citric acid crystals and Boyajian citrus oils are natural ingredients I love to use to “zhudj up” the flavor on all kinds of things – cocktails, dressings, desserts, etc. – even my morning coffee!  Seriously, 2 drops of orange oil in your coffee is revelatory.  The citrus oils add the same flavor that citrus zests would, but without the fuss of having to zest fruit (or even have any on hand!), and without the zest marring the finished look or texture.  You can order Boyajian products online or sometimes find them at gourmet grocers or Sur la Table.  Citric acid is an all-natural way to up the tang in something without adding any unwanted flavor notes.  The flavor is very, very faintly citrusy.  When you use vinegars or lemon juice, you will taste the vinegar or lemon juice.  With citric acid, all you taste is fresh and tart.  You can find citric acid crystals with canning supplies, but I get mine at our local Middle Eastern market.

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Comments

  • Judy Kemp  On May 16, 2015 at 12:21 PM

    This is the best salad! I have fixed it several times now, and the kale haters want to recipe! All have raved about it. Thanks Elizabeth!!! Judy

    Like

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