I know you’ve heard what a nutritional powerhouse kale is, and if you’re like me, you’ve probably vowed to eat more of this highly-regarded cruciferous vegetable. Although I happily eat most veggies, up until now kale has not been one of my favorites. Boiled, it seemed rather stodgy and boring, and while it’s good stir fried with garlic, that gets tiresome too. Lately, to my surprise, I’ve become an enthusiastic convert to eating kale raw. I’ve discovered that the secret to making an appetizing kale salad is to take it off the stem, cut it fine (think coleslaw), and marinate it for an hour or more in a tasty dressing. Another secret, of course, is to use only tender, young kale, either grow your own, or be a very selective shopper. If kale isn’t available, cabbage or collard greens would be happy to receive similar treatment. I think you’ll agree that when the weather heats up, this Citrusy Red Kale and Arugula Salad is a refreshing alternative to the usual mixed greens (recipe after the jump).
CITRUSY RED KALE AND ARUGULA SALAD
For the Dressing:
Juice of 1 medium orange ( 4-5 tablespoons)
Juice of 1 medium lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
2-3 tablespoons rice syrup (or sweetener of choice)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 small clove garlic, minced (optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce, or to taste
salt, freshly ground black pepper, to taste
For the Salad:
1/2 small red onion, peeled and cut into very thin half-round slices (as thin as possible)
1 medium bunch kale, washed and dried (red is beautiful, but whatever kind you have is good)
2 oranges, peeled and cut into sections
1/2 cup (about 3 ounces) toasted almonds, slivered
1 generous handful arugula, washed and dried (optional)
1. Measure the dressing ingredients into a good sized salad bowl. Whisk together well, taste and adjust seasoning.
2. Add the sliced red onions to the salad dressing and allow to marinate while you prep the kale.
3. Wash the kale, pull it off the stems and cut into thin strips. Save the stems for stock or cut them up small and use in soup.
4. Mix the kale into the marinating onions. Place a plate on top to weight the kale and make sure it marinates in the dressing. Allow to marinate for an hour or more.
5. Meanwhile, prep the oranges and the almonds. Peel the oranges and section them by carefully cutting each segment away from the white skin which holds the sections together. Catch any juice which results and add that to the marinating kale.
6. When the kale has marinated at least an hour, add in the arugula, if using, and most of the orange sections and almonds. Toss gently. Serve immediately, garnishing with reserved orange sections and almonds. If you eat cheese, a little bit of quality parmesan, goat or feta cheese would be good with this salad,