I love waking up the day after I’ve hosted a party at home. My fridge is packed with delicious leftovers. Everything is clean and put away just as I designed it. And I’m just happy to have finished a project that I spent days and weeks setting up.
This morning I woke up from a party I threw for my co-workers, went digging through the fridge, and got a second chance to taste why this salad was such a huge hit on the menu full of winners:
Fresh Pineapple Chunks
Roasted Red Pepper and Walnut Dip with Multigrain Tortilla Scoops
Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Warm Pita
Marinated Kale Salad with Oranges, Carrots, and Sunflower Seeds
Healthier Peruvian Chicken Skewers with Green Sauce
Arroz con Camarones (Rice with Shrimp)
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
It honestly tastes better than all of its healthiness should allow! The orange and carrot makes it sweet with no added sugars. The shallot makes it the right amount of pungent – enough to send you searching for a breath mint but not so much that a tic tac couldn’t do the job. The carrot and sunflower seeds make it a bit crunchy. And the olive oil in the marinade makes sure the kale is tender and not toothsome.
Did you catch where I called out the ‘marinade’? Well, that’s because with a kale salad you want to rub it down and let it sit in the dressing for at least 30 minutes so the kale can get tender and the flavors can permeate the leaves. I can’t stress enough how important this is to a successful kale salad. When I get in a time crunch and skip the wait it’s never as satisfying.
But here’s an idea – and the reason why my instructions below seem a little out of order for a normal salad. Since the olive oil does the job of tenderizing the kale, mix it in first while you work on preparing the other ingredients. You can also add a light amount of salt and pepper to season then so the flavors get to work on permeating the leaves. And by the time you finish cutting up the other fruit and vegetables and putting together the other parts of your meal you may have hit that 30-minute marinade time.
And the kale is incredibly tender. And everyone thinks your a cooking genius. And your belly is full. And the salad will stay perfect in the fridge for days without turning soggy.
- 1 bunch of Kale, about 1 pound
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 medium Carrot
- 2 Navel Oranges
- 1 small Shallot, finely chopped
- 1 clove Garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons Sunflower Seeds
- Clean, remove tough stems and coarsely chop the kale. Add to a very large bowl and rub the leaves down with olive oil and a light seasoning of salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Peel and julienne the carrot and add to the kale. Section the oranges over a bowl and squeeze the juice from the remaining membrane. Strain into another bowl and add the orange sections to the kale, reserving the juice.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, garlic, oregano, apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the reserved orange juice. Pour over the kale and toss well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss in sunflower seeds before serving.