This is the first salad recipe I’ve ever posted, and there’s a reason for that: I’m the sad, sad queen of letting bags of leafy greens turn to slime in my fridge, because salads don’t excite me enough to make the effort to, you know, put them in a bowl. Until now. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve been eating citrus kale salad almost every day, because it’s wonderful and delicious and beautiful. Between the slight bitterness of the kale and a tangy dressing, the oranges taste extra sweet, and their juiciness is everything I never knew my salads were missing.
I had a very similar salad at a friend’s house (the same meal, incidentally, where we were served this awesome quiche). I found myself thinking about it a couple of weeks ago and texted her to find out about the dressing she used, and it launched my current obsession. I love that I can prep all the components ahead of time and have them ready in the fridge, and I’m looking forward to a daily salad for the first time in my liiiiife.
So: you need some thinly sliced oranges. I’ve been buying both cara cara oranges and navel oranges because the gorgeousness of having both of them on my salad makes me really happy. Plus, my 4-year-old thinks pink oranges are thebomb.com. I cut off the two ends, then slice off the peel, and cut the oranges into thin slices. (You could be really fancy and cut between all the sections, but don’t bother.) You can also use clementines, or canned mandarin oranges.
You also need a super simple dressing made of lemon juice (lime works, too!), olive oil, honey, and salt and pepper. See the notes below the recipe for info on the ratio and how to make this in any quantity you want. I like to make it in a little jar so I can store it in the fridge, then shake it up and dress my salad each day!
Then, of course, you need some kale. You can buy it already cut up, but I actually prefer to buy it in a bunch and pick the leafy parts off of the ribs myself, since I’ve found that you have to kind of sort through the bagged kind for the rib pieces they missed.
The key, key, most important thing to a delicious citrus kale salad is to rub the kale. I like the dressing to be really light and evenly distributed, so I drizzle it on and then scrunch, squeeze, rub, and massage the kale leaves for about 30 seconds. (You could also do this with just a pinch of salt.) They get much more tender and turn dark green, and it also makes it look like about half the amount you started with!
Then just load up your bowl with your dressed greens, a sprinkle of toasted almonds, some craisins, and so.much.delicious.citrus. Seriously, I aim for an orange slice in each bite.
I’ve mostly been eating this alongside whatever else I’ve scrounged up for lunch, but we’ve also had it as a refreshing side with soup, pasta, and anything on the grill. It would be such a beautiful dish to add to a brunch table or a wedding or baby shower. Basically, the right time to eat citrus kale salad is every day. Join me!