Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cara Cara Orange and Kale Salad



Do you ever have a salad that just leaves you speechless because it is so delicious? It is rare, but every once in a while it happens. The last encounter I had with this experience was at my book club a few weeks ago at Ellen’s house. I belong to a wonderful book club with eight other ladies who love reading great books and cooking.

We meet about every six weeks on average, sometimes a little longer or a little shorter. There is a rotation among the different houses along with each hostess presenting a masterpiece from their kitchen. You may think that a masterpiece is something that each person has spent hours slaving in the kitchen, but quite often that is not the case. Just like the saying goes – sometimes the simplest things in life are the best.



This stands true for our last meeting at Ellen’s house with the Kale Salad. Her daughter loves finding new food blogs that intrigue her. One of her favorites is – Spoon Fork Bacon from Jenny and Teri. (I have now added it to my favorites list.) She found a recipe for Blood Orange and Kale Salad which Ellen made for our book club dinner. Believe it or not, Kale has not been in my repertoire for cooking, but now it is definitely here to stay in my bag of tricks.
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With my mouth still watering and my mind reminiscing about this divine delight, I knew that I could not hold out much longer and had to make it pronto. I had picked up some lovely kale from the farmers market in the morning and set up to make this salad for lunch yesterday. Since blood oranges are next to impossible to find now, I opted for Cara Cara Oranges which have hints of cherry, rose petal and blackberry notes.
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Along with changing the varietals of oranges, I used manchego cheese, dry roasted and salted almonds and champagne vinegar. The combination of the earthy kale, crunchy and salty almonds, sweet oranges and tangy cheese was absolutely satisfying and not too mention the supreme vinaigrette.

Just in case you are wondering, we are now reading The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Differbaugh. Enjoy this salad and I promise you will make this over and over again.


Cara Cara Orange and Kale Salad

Serves 4
Adapted from here

Vinaigrette:

½ shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 T. honey
1 t. Dijon mustard
3 T. champagne vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Pour and place all ingredients into a mason jar and shake well. Let sit at least one hour for flavors to develop.

Salad:

5 to 6 C. kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
3 Cara Cara oranges, cut in half and segments removed
½ C. Almonds, dry roasted and salted, rough chop
½ C. Manchego cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Add all of the salad ingredients to a large bowl and add half the vinaigrette and toss well. Taste and add more dressing if desired. If you like additional cheese or almonds, feel free to add those along with oranges. Enjoy!





22 comments:

  1. I love the Spoon Fork Bacon blog, too. :)

    Okay, I agree with you that it's hard to find a salad to get excited about but I love the flavors in this. I can see the Manchego cheese, champagne vinegar, the almonds and oranges really tasting great together. Lovely salad, Lisa! :)

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    1. Thank you Jean! I had never cooked with kale prior and now I am hooked!!

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  2. WOW! That is simply stunning, and we'll bet completely delicious, too. What a great way to employ kale, and the seasonal Cara Cara orange -- an undiscovered gem. We are going to share this on our Facebook page so people can come here and see your beautiful photography and make your recipe. Come LIKE us on Facebook if you wish, at https://www.facebook.com/Cut.n.Clean.Greens . We seriously love Kale!

    --Your friendly farmers at Cut `n Clean Greens

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    1. Thank you SO much for sharing on your Facebook page!

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  3. Ooh, I can just imagine how delicious this salad tastes. You have my mouth watering just thinking about it :)
    'x

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    1. OMG! It is really tasty and I think I need to make again this weekend!

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  4. Your review has me convinced! I gotta try it!

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    1. Thank you! Let me know if you make it and how you like it.

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  5. Your salad looks delish! I love kale in salads. I need to do it more often. Can't wait to try this one!

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  6. I ADORE cara cara oranges...I just made a salad for my blog with avocados, cara cara oranges, feta, and spiced pepitas. They have such a nice flavor...love how pretty your salad came out!!

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    1. Thank you Wendy! Your salad sounds amazing and I adore pepitas!

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  7. I loved this recipe. Lovely photographs as well!http://cosmopolitancurrymania.blogspot.com

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  8. I have to admit that I've never tried raw kale in a salad so I guess I'm due to try it! Lisa, I know you wouldn't share a salad unless it was 'over the top' delicious;-) ps. thanks for the book recommendation!

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    1. Thank you Patty and I am still so flattered that I landed inspiration to you creating a kale salad! Let me know if you read the book.

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  9. I am in serious need of a salad detox. Recipes like this make it so much easier to consider! :)

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and I completely understand the detox need!

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  10. Great mind think alike. I just posted a kale salad. How funny! Your photos are stunning, Lisa! And those Cara Cara look sooo delicious! Love it!

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    1. Hey Trisha - thank you for stopping by! I am now hooked on kale!

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  11. I absolutely loved this salad, Lisa! The flavor combination was spot on and there was nice texture between the crunchy almonds, sweet oranges, and creamy manchego. It's a keeper!

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  12. Will try this salad w/greens from Farmers Market in Kent,OH.
    I just read the Language of Flowers--really liked it --I grow tons of zinnias ("I mourn your absence"). The book inspired me to order The Meaning ofFlowers

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