I am a latecomer to most big trends. I discovered the magic of jeggings and yoga pants just last year, well after they had become cause for ridicule. I’m currently reading Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, a memoir that hit the best seller list in 2011. And food-wise? Don’t even get me started. It’s embarrassing, but I only realized that sriracha was a thing (a delicious, delicious thing) after news of the possible factory shut-down swept my twitter feed. And were we always so crazy about brunch? (Yes. The answer is, a million times, yes.)
So it is with kale. I’ve been eating the stuff roasted, baked, and sautéed for ages. I’ve loved it in chip-form and stew-form, I’ve eaten it in pasta and alongside mashed potatoes. But raw? Not really my thing. For the longest time, I couldn’t stand the taste of uncooked kale. It was passable in juices, but I’d never put it in a smoothie myself. Definitely not in a kale salad, even if it had been massaged forever and ever. There was just something off-putting about the texture and flavor.
Raw kale has grown on me. Paired with the right dressings and mix-ins, it’s one of my favorite veggies to eat raw. Yup, now that raw kale is in pretty much every recipe on the internet— juices, smoothies, salads, you name it— I’m in love.
Trust me, if you’re into raw kale, this salad is the way to go. It’s tart and tangy, with a slight bitter edge. Its texture is balanced with crunchy matchstick carrots and slivers of thinly sliced red onions.
Kale has been done to death, but I still love this simple, citrusy salad. It’s made with dark leafy greens, root vegetables, and citrus— all winter produce, but so bright and lively when brought together.
Kale Carrot Salad with Orange Vinegrette
- 1 bunch kale (latticino or curly varieties)
- 3 medium carrots
- 1/2 large red onion
- almonds, a handful
- 1/2 large naval orange
- 1 lime
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Wash the kale. Remove ribs, slicing out the thick, tough middles of the leaves with the tip of your knife. Fold the kale in half lengthwise and slice into 1/2 inch slices. Place in a large bowl. Peel carrots if the outside skin is tough or uneven. Cut the carrots into matchsticks and set aside for later. Slice the red onion into thin strips, and set aside with the carrots. Chop the almonds roughly and set them aside separately.
- Place the sliced kale into a large bowl. Squeeze orange juice and lime juice over the leaves. Drizzle with the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Massage the kale, rubbing the dressing into the leaves until it is evenly distributed and the leaves have become tenderized.
- Add carrots and red onions and toss to evenly distribute and coat with dressing. Top with chopped almonds just before serving