Jeweled Kale Salad

The holidays are mainly “food parties” for my family. We gather to eat. Now, we also gather to talk and give love, but, also, to eat. As well as to cook and share recipes. But, mostly, to eat. And, oh! How we eat! No boundaries. No self control. We don’t gather often and when we do, the gloves, or, rather, the belts, are off! While this is the general understanding and we neither judge nor feel judged, not all of us freely toss aside our diets for the occasion. Every family has one, right? The health food buff. The pescetarian. The “I don’t eat meat from animals with brown fur” guest. We have a strictly dieted relative who, for medical reasons, lives an extremely clean eating lifestyle. She simply CANNOT permit herself to indulge as the consequences would be a little more serious than an extra notch on the belt. The self control this woman has is admirable. I put this salad together with the intention of giving my vegan, gluten-free aunt a little more variety. The poor dear usually brings a tasty quinoa dish for everyone (and for herself as insurance that she’ll have something to eat) and grazes on any vegetables that aren’t drenched in cheese or cooked in animal fat. Along with some decadent old favorites for the masses, I decided to take a little extra care of her this year. I slow-roasted simple root vegetables with a balsamic glaze and created a winter salad that wound up pleasing the omnivores and vegans, alike. Kale is a year-round favorite of mine, but especially during the colder months, when I crave a heartier green. The beauty of this salad is that you can prepare AND dress it well ahead of time, as kale doesn’t wilt as quickly as its more tender counterparts. I recommend dressing at least a half hour before serving, tossing well just before digging in. So, without further ado…

Jeweled Kale Salad

Jeweled Kale Salad

Salad:
Two heads or bunches of Lacinto (aka, Dino) Kale, Stems removed, julienned
Seeds of 1 pomegranate
1 Grapefruit, 1/4 wedge reserved for squeezing, sectioned, wedges removed
1 Naval Orange, sectioned, wedges removed
1/2 Red onion, halved and very thinly sliced
1/2 C Toasted pine nuts or toasted pumpkin seeds/pepitas

Dressing:
1/4 C Apple Cider Vinegar (Preferably raw & unfiltered)
1/2 C Olive Oil
1/4 C Orange Juice
2 Tbs Lemon Juice
2 Tbs Honey
1/4 Tsp dried basil
Juice of 1/4 grapefruit
Small garlic clove, crushed and minced
Salt & Pepper

Add all salad ingredients to a nice, big salad bowl. In a dressing container or jar with a lid (if you don’t have small and medium mason jars around the kitchen, please reconsider) combine all dressing ingredients and shake it like you mean it. Allow dressing to sit at least 15 mins before pouring. Shake once more before dressing. Pour over salad, toss and allow salad to marinate in the refrigerator at least 30 mins. Toss once more before serving.

That’s it! If you love cheese I’d advise either a nice, salty, crumbled feta or a good, crumbled blue. You can add anything to this salad that would go well with citrus; grilled steak, chicken, etc. The kale is hearty and can hold up to just about any other ingredient. The green is quite filling, though, and I recommend giving it a try this way…zero guilt, all flavor. It holds up so nicely you can happily enjoy leftovers the next day!

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