Woo-hoo, I made it! In less than 12 hours, I will officially be on vacation!
In the spirit of the occasion, I wanted to share with you the to-die-for festive salad I made Sunday night, which I’ve aptly titled–Holiday Kale Salad. Original, no?
I’ve seen variations of this salad in the past few months’ editions of Sunset, Whole Living (which will no longer be making new issues–as well as Martha Stewart’s FOOD, my favorite iPad magazine for the step-by-step videos–tear) and a few others, and it really is the perfect winter salad.
I’ve been pretty much consistently substituting kale for lettuce in my salads for the past two months or so, one because of the nutritional punch, but two, it just last so much longer than regular lettuce. Plus, I chop like 2 leaves and I feel like I have enough kale for 3 salads, not just one.
Kale is quite a bit more bitter than your normal salad greens though, so I usually try to balance the bitterness out with a nice acidic vinaigrette. In this case, I used a bit of fresh orange zest, orange juice, pomegranate juice, balsamic vinegar,olive oil, and salt to reach the perfect balance.
For the topping, I added the best orange I’ve had so far this season–seriously, I was licking the cutting board to get the juices that leaked out while I was cutting– some goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, and of course, pomegranates.
I’ve talked about this before, but I really do have a love/hate relationship with pomegranates. I’d almost forgotten how absolutely disgusting it is to take out the seeds via water birth in a bowl. That many little things congregating so close together? Shudder. In last month’s Food magazine, I think it was, they talked about another method of removing pomegranate seeds: cutting it in half and whacking it with a spoon on the outside so that the seeds just fall into a bowl. Of course, I forgot about this until it was too late, but I’m definitely trying it next time, or you may have to blindfold me while I extract the seeds.
But, once I got over the seed issue, the salad itself was perfectly seasonly wonderful. All’s well that ends well.
Holiday Kale Salad
2 cups kale, finely chopped
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
1 medium valencia orange
1 ounce goat cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt, to taste
To prepare dressing, smash the tablespoon of pomegranate seeds to release the juices and then discard the seeds. Zest about 1 teaspoon of the orange into the pomegranate juice then cut in half. Juice one half of the orange until you get about 1 tablespoon of juice, then add to the pomegranate and zest mixture. Add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt, and mix well.
Remove the skin from the second half of the orange and chop. Combine the orange, kale, pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, and goat cheese in a bowl and mix well.
Drizze with dressing, above, and enjoy!
Time: 10 minutes