Martha Stewart Living (December 2009)
We struggle for good salad ideas in the winter.
In the summer? Not so much, when we can easily throw together a salad with ingredients found right in our kitchen -- leafy greens from the farmers market, juicy tomatoes from our CSA, and a quick vinaigrette we'll improvise.
But in the winter, it's salad doldrums at our house. We haven't been to the farmers market as often (it's cold!) and with no CSA in the winter, our fridge is looking awfully empty.
Could kale, blood oranges and hazelnuts cure our winter salad doldrums?
We rarely buy kale, mostly because we only know how to do one thing with it: braise it. And really, there's only so much braised kale a guy can eat. So we were glad to find a new use for it, shredded and as the basis for a salad.
Blood oranges, however, were difficult for us to find, so we substituted 2 grapefruits and 2 naval oranges. And we happened to have some toasted, chopped hazelnuts leftover from Thanksgiving when we made Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnut Butter.
The combination of kale, citrus and hazelnuts makes for a knock-out winter salad. It's refreshingly tart (especially with grapefruits), but the hazelnuts add a nice sweetness and a great crunch. The bracing citrus and the bitter (in a good way) kale combine for a salad full of clean, fresh flavors -- absolutely perfect for this time of year.
Here are two other winter salad recipes we've made and enjoyed very much:
1 1/2 pounds Tuscan black kale or regular kale, stems and ribs removed, leaves shredded
4 blood oranges, segmented, juices reserved
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Course salt and freshly ground pepper
Combine kale, oranges and hazelnuts in a large bowl. Drizzle with vinegar, oil and reserved orange juice; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving.