Kale + Kumquat Salad
I feel like I keep saying it, but thank goodness for citrus! This winter has been especially dreary, so I’m happy to have something in season to brighten the days. Kumquats are my new favorite wintertime treat. The skin is sweet, the inside is tangy, and they’re just so darn cute! (Since the peel is edible, I try to buy organic varieties when available.) And in case you were wondering, kumquats grow on normal-looking trees, as seen above in a relative’s yard in North Florida.
The trick to a good kale salad is letting the kale tenderize in an acidic dressing for a little while. The great news is that the kale tenderizes but doesn’t get soggy, so it’s perfect for make-ahead lunches and leftovers. I added salmon and some other “accessories” to my salad, but this one is easily customized. This recipe serves two.
4-5 leaves of kale
1 lemon (2+ Tbsp juice)
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 c crumbled cheese (goat, bleu, gorgonzola)
1/4 c nuts, toasted & chopped (pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts)
2 filets salmon (4-6 oz each)
salt + pepper
Rinse kale and pat dry. Remove thick ribs/stems by folding leaf in half and cutting along rib, discard. Tear or chop kale into bite-sized pieces and place in large bowl.
Toss kale with juice of half of the lemon (1+ Tbsp) and 1-2 Tbsp olive oil. Set aside to tenderize.
Rinse kumquats. Slice thinly and remove any large seeds.
Preheat skillet to medium heat with 1/2 Tbsp olive oil.
Pat salmon dry and season with salt and pepper. Place in pan (skin-side down if applicable).
Cook 3-5 minutes, then turn. Cook 1 minute, then turn off heat. Leave for about 5 more minutes to finish cooking (should easily flake with a fork when done). Squeeze lemon juice over salmon.
Toss kale again to redistribute dressing. Top kale with cheese, nuts, kumquats, and salmon. Optional: serve with lemon garnish.
Replace salmon with sauteed/grilled chicken breast or shrimp. Try tempeh for a vegetarian option.
For dairy free or nut free options, omit the cheese or nuts, respectively.
Any variety of kale works: curly, lacinato/dinosaur, heirloom, baby, etc.
If you can find one, I love using a Meyer lemon for the dressing.