We love this salad all year round, but we think the winter kale is much sweeter. The tangy citrus salad dressing also helps to tenderize the kale. This can easily be an entree salad served with a piece of smoked or poached salmon on the side. The ‘add ins’ are quite versatile too — no nuts? Use toasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower kernels. In the winter, cranberries or pomegranate seeds can replace the mango.
1 large bunch Lacinato (“dinosaur”) kale
3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (mild), divided
Juice of one Meyer lemon, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Himalayan salt or kosher salt
1 tablespoon honey or coconut nectar*
1 clove garlic, minced very finely
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch hot pepper flakes
1 large mango, peeled and diced into 1/2″ cubes*
1 large avocado, diced into 1/2″ cubes
1 small shallot, thinly sliced (optional)
1/4 cup toasted hazelnuts or walnuts, roughly chopped OR raw sunflower seeds
Rinse and dry the kale leaves. Trim off the center ribs. Stack and slice the kale leaves into 1/4″ wide ribbons and place in a large mixing bowl.
Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the bowl with the kale, along with the juice of 1/2 lemon and the salt. Using your hands, squeeze and massage the kale for three minutes, until it has wilted considerably.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, honey (or coconut nectar), minced garlic, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Taste for seasoning and adjust.
Add diced mango, avocado, and chopped hazelnuts to the kale. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and gently mix.
When mangoes are not in season, use 1/2 cup dried cranberries, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, then drained.
*Coconut Nectar is available locally at New Leaf Market and Shopper’s Corner.
SOURCE: Adapted from recipe by Chef Marianne Larsen.