This was a must have recipe after enjoying it at a friends house for dinner. There are some tricks to making Kale Salad that deserve to be shared!
One of the ingredients (I believe to be the secret ingredient), that made this salad so exceptional is Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar. I had purchased everything to make this salad but hadn’t had a chance to go to Trader Joe’s yet so substituted the Trader Joe’s vinegar for equal amounts of champagne vinegar and fresh squeezed orange juice, it has got to be pretty close, right? It did come out good, but I still wanted to get that vinegar in my kitchen to play with. 😃
Second attempt was delicious also, this time using the Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar. I did find sugar listed in the Trader Joe’s vinegar ingredients, so if you are planning your meals with no processed sugar, substitute the Trader Joe’s vinegar with equal amounts of champagne vinegar and fresh squeezed orange juice. You could sweeten it a little with a teaspoon of honey or an alternative sweetener.
Another trick that I had read about but had not practiced is massaging some olive oil into the kale leaves while making the salad, it is said to break down the fibrous tissue that gives kale its bitter taste. This recipe suggests following this process, so it is now tried, tested, and proven to result in a great taste and texture!
And now a word about the ingredient list 😃 Let’s just call this is a suggested list, remember it is a salad! I included everything in the recipe I was given because I wanted to replicate what had been shared in my original taste test. But on a routine day, if I am making a salad, it includes whatever I have in the vegetable drawer! If you are going to Trader Joe’s to purchase the vinegar, pick up their bagged kale, it is another great product to purchase there. So here is the ingredient list, it was a delicious combination so perhaps start here, and then vary with your own preferences. Maybe don’t leave out the fennel, it is another secret ingredient 😬
8 cups baby kale, stems removed
1 cup grated or thin sliced fennel bulb
2 cups shredded red cabbage
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1 cup carrot, chopped
3/4 cup red pepper, thinly sliced
3/4 cup cucumber, sliced
1 tomato, chopped
1 mandarin orange, in wedges
1/2 cup radish, chopped
1/2 cup green onion, thinly sliced
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (optional - for more orange flavor)
Salt & pepper
And now it’s time to play with your food, this is a “hand’s on” recipe! Tear the kale into small pieces in a large bowl. Add 2 Tbsp of olive oil and massage it into the kale leaves, take your time, add a little lovin’! Add grated fennel and continue massaging to blend, if most of the olive oil is worked in, add the additional tablespoon of olive oil along with the cabbage and broccoli and continue mixing with your hands. Add in the carrots, red pepper, cucumber, radish, green onion, and tomato and toss to combine. The last item to add is the mandarin orange.
Just before serving, stir in the orange vinegar. For a little extra pop of citrus, stir some salt and pepper into the fresh squeezed orange juice and blend this in also.