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Kale Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette

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Serves 4 to 6

The vinaigrette softens the raw kale leaves, so it’s essential to let this salad sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. The longer it sits, the more tender the kale will become.

  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 medium navel orange
  • 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. cranberry juice
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 oz. mature curly kale leaves, trimmed and coarsely chopped, or baby kale (5 cups)

Pulse the cranberries in a mini or regular food processor until finely chopped, about fifteen 1-second pulses. Set aside.

Using a sharp paring knife, cut off the ends of the orange to expose a circle of flesh. Stand the orange on an end and pare off the peel and pith in strips. Quarter the orange lengthwise; slice each quarter crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces.

Whisk together the vinegar, cranberry juice, and honey in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Whisk in the ginger and chopped cranberries and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toss the kale and the orange pieces in the dressing. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let sit for 15 minutes to 1 hour before serving.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 120; Fat (g): 9; Fat Calories (kcal): 80; Saturated Fat (g): 1.5; Protein (g): 1; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7; Carbohydrates (g): 10; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 150; Cholesterol (mg): 0; Fiber (g): 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Wonderful flavour in this salad. Raw kale is naturally tough and chewy so you need to "massage" it when washing and drying it. Then I cut into fairly small bites rather than leaving in larger pieces (this just makes it easier to eat). The vinaigrette is very tasty! I am a big fan of balsamic vinegar so I used half and half of red wine and balsamic. For the oranges I used one Cara Cara and two blood oranges (I had doubled the recipe). I didn't have cranberry juice on hand so I took about 1/2 cup of fresh cranberries, added some water and a bit of sugar and brought to a boil in a pan. When softened I mashed the cranberries and added water as needed to thin it out and used that rather than juice. I also added to the salad thinly sliced red onion and toasted sunflower seeds, although really the salad would be great without those additions. I tossed the salad with the vinaigrette a couple of hours before eating and it wasn't chewy, it was really good ... everyone liked it. The recipe is a keeper.

Great vinaigrette and flavour, but the kale is still pretty tough and chewy even after sitting for an hour or more. Using baby kale would probably help that. Other than that, the salad is delicious. The cranberries and orange give a nice sweetness to the almost peppery raw kale.

A very tasty kale salad! My CSA gives me kale nearly every week, so I have tried many kale recipes. This one tastes a lot better than most-- the sweet orange and tangy dressing work well with the bitter kale. Definitely let this one sit before serving-- my kale (dang robust organic veg) only softened to edibility after about an hour. This recipe is husband-approved too, but I'm sorry to report that my daughter said "I say it's kale and to heck with it".

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