Winter Kale Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing
Winter Kale Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing– packed full of fiber and vitamin C to help keep your immune system strong. The kale doesn’t get soggy, making it perfect to prep for healthy lunches during the week! (vegan, gluten-free, grain-free and nut-free)
Alternative title: My Go-To Kale Salad.
Seriously you guys, this salad is my jam. Whenever I see a bulb of fresh fennel I immediately start craving it.
If the ingredient list looks familiar to some of you it’s because I posted on here almost exactly two years ago. It was the first recipe I had ever tried with raw, fresh fennel and ever since then I’ve been hooked.
So I know a lot of people complain about the rough texture and bitter flavor of kale. There is a simple solution to that problem! It’s called love.
You gotta show it a little love by giving it a massage. And you can’t rush it.
The acids in the lemon juice and the healthy fats in the olive oil help break the kale down as you massage the dressing into the leaves. This gives it a softer texture while also making it taste delicious.
The best part is that you don’t have to worry about it getting soggy. Because kale is such a robust green, it absorbs just enough dressing to make it enjoyable without wilting. This makes it perfect for prepping ahead.
I usually use apples (Honeycrisp are my favorite) in place of the oranges but for the sake of meal prep, I personally think oranges are the better option. Of course you can always squeeze lemon juice on the apples to help keep them from browning, but I find they don’t hold up as well as the oranges.
If you’ve never tried fresh fennel, I hope this salad convinces you to give it a go!
It has a refreshing light flavor with a delightful crunch that is sure to keep you coming back for more.
Winter Kale Salad
Yield: 2 large or 4 small salads
Prep Time: 15
Total Time: 15
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)*
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
pinch of salt
4 cups curly kale (1 large bunch)
1 fennel bulb
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 large blood orange (or 1 apple)
4 radishes, thinly sliced (optional)
In a measuring cup or a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, olive oil, pure maple syrup and salt. Set aside.
Using your hands, rip the kale leaves off of the stems in bite size pieces. Place them in a strainer for rinsing. Rinse well then thoroughly dry and transfer to a large bowl.
Pour the dressing over the top of the kale then use your hands to massage it into the leaves. Be sure to take your time and massage it for at least one minute. This helps break down the kale so that it won’t be as bitter or rough to eat.
Next, cut the fennel. Start by trimming off the stems. Cut the bulb in half then slice a v-shape into the inner part to remove the core. Place the bulb half, cut side down, on a cutting surface. Using a sharp knife, slice the bulb lengthwise into thin strips.
Peel the orange, slice into round segments then cut each segment in half. If using apple, simple remove the core and dice into bite-size pieces. Add the orange, fennel, cranberries and pumpkin seeds to the bowl with the kale. Toss to combine, serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts are for 1/4th of recipe
*I like a strong lemon flavor but if you prefer less, try using the juice of 1 lemon instead of 2. Leftovers can be stored in airtight container for up to 3 days.