Fresh kale is brightened up with a lemony vinaigrette and orange segments, topped with crunchy pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds). With the addition of dressing, kale will soften and become slightly translucent but will not wilt like other salad greens. It’s best make an hour or two ahead of time, and leftover salad can still be enjoyed later that day or the next day. Make sure you use thicker kale like (Trader Joe’s carries Tuscan and lacinato kale that is prepped and ready to use in bags) and not baby kale (baby kale will tend to wilt).
If you like Parmesan cheese, it goes great with this salad – sprinkle in 1/2- 1 cup of shredded or grated Parmesan right before serving.
Another variation is to use grapefruit segments instead of mandarin orange segments. Simply remove the flesh from one large grapefruit (segments only – no skin or pith) and stir into the salad. Use honey instead of the syrup to sweeten the dressing to taste.
Citrus Kale Salad
- 1 (10-oz) bag kale (curly kale, dinosaur kale, or other thick kale)
- 1 (11-oz) can mandarin orange segments (drain but reserve 2 Tbsp syrup)
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- Place kale on working surface. Remove any tough stems from the kale leaves and then chop the kale into smaller ribbons. Add kale to a large salad bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil, 2 Tbsp syrup from mandarin orange can, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over the kale, tossing it with tongs to make sure it is coated thoroughly. Add drained mandarin segments and pepitas right before serving so that pepitas stay crunchy.