Kale, Walnut & Blood Orange Salad

INTRO
Last winter, we finally dined at Catelli’s in Geyserville, CA, and they blew me away with a kale salad that I couldn’t stop thinking about. I decided to set about recreating it. Their menu described it as “Organic kale, meyer lemon, blood orange, crushed croutons, crushed nuts, Parmesan & Dry Creek Olive Oil,” so I started by trying to make my own dressing – sort of a simplified Caesar-esque affair. It was ok, but a lot of work, and ultimately I decided what I really wanted was a quick, EASY salad for lunches and I now have the perfect answer.

I love this salad because the balance of flavors and textures is perfect, PLUS it keeps me full until dinner because of the nuts and Caesar dressing. See my notes below on alternate ingredients or suggestions.

Serves 4 side salads or 2 lunch-sized salads.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bunch ruffly kale
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 blood oranges or 4 cuties
  • Caesar dressing of your choice

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Trim away the kale stems, then gather the leaves together and slice into 1/8 inch crosswise slices, similar to how cabbage is often prepared when “shredded”. If the leaves are big, cut the sliced leaves into 2 or 3 segments to make it bite sized.
  2. Massage the kale until it’s soft. Seriously, if you’ve never done this before, it transforms kale from a jaw-working experience to a tender, lovely raw texture.
  3. Place in a bowl with the walnuts and toss with 2-3tbsp of salad dressing, to your preferred dressing density.
  4. Peel by hand or slice away the peel of the oranges with a knife (my preferred method), then separate in half, remove the pith in the center and cut the wedges into thirds. Then separate the orange pieces into individual bites. If you are using cuties, just peel and separate…maybe cut the wedges in half.
  5. Toss the orange pieces in and give the salad a fluff…that’s it!

NOTES
Because I want this to be a quick prep, I usually prepare all the kale advance and store in a container to use all week. I buy the walnuts already chopped so there is no fuss.

The oranges are the only thing I cut fresh each day. For one lunch sized salad, it’s just grab the kale and walnuts, toss with dressing, add one prepared orange.

Also for salad dressing, just go with a Caesar you like. I try to pick things with minimal ingredients, like Annie’s, but I stumbled upon one from Primal Kitchen that is dairy-, gluten-, soy-free which is DELICIOUS.

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