Everyone knows that kale is hearty and nutritious, but have you ever thought of it as lively? Refreshing? Composed of wonderfully textured black kale ribbons, juicy blood orange, and fragrant Meyer lemon, this bright winter salad will energize your palate.
Although you could experiment with different kale and citrus varieties, we chose pebbly-textured black kale (also known as cavolo nero or lacinato, Tuscan, or dinosaur kale), which is especially sweet and peppery, and blood orange and Meyer lemon, two sweeter and less acidic members of the citrus family. The salad is vividly flavored and colored with a nice, fresh crunch.
Kale Salad with Blood Orange and Meyer LemonServes 4
1 bunch black kale (about 1 pound)
4 small blood oranges, segmented, juice reserved (about 3 tablespoons juice)
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon (about two teaspoons)
1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Wash kale and pat off excess water. If the center stems are tender enough to eat, simply trim the bottom inch or two. If the center stems are thick or tough, cut or tear them out (see Basic Technique: How to Prepare Chard Or Any Other Leafy Green) and discard or save for another dish. Slice leaves crosswise into 1/4-inch-wide ribbons.
In a large bowl, whisk together the blood orange juice, Meyer lemon zest, shallots, olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and a good crack of black pepper. Add the kale and, using your hands, massage the dressing into the leaves. Add the blood orange segments and toss to combine.
Let stand for 20 minutes. Taste and season with more salt and pepper, if desired.
(Image: Emily Ho)