Fresh and crisp, Winter Greens Salad with Citrus Dressing perfectly balances out all the cold weather comfort foods.

Winter Greens Salad topped with orange slices

This time of year is cold and dark, and what we really want to eat are warm and comforting foods. Chili with cheese and cornbread, chicken and dumplings, and pasta soup are all high on my list of cravings during the cold winter months.

These meals can start to get heavy, and we start to feel heavy right along with them. Enter a crisp vinaigrette salad! Kale and endive are hearty greens that are easy to come by all year round. The kale stays crisp even after getting this citrus vinaigrette massaged into the leaves, and will continue to hold up overnight in the fridge if you have leftovers! That’s a big bonus for a salad.

Slivered almonds add a satisfying crunch while candied ginger adds a slight spicy sweetness throughout. Oranges of all types are available here in the winter.

Let’s talk about massaging your kale! That just sounds strange, doesn’t it? Kale is thick and hearty. It can be tough to chew and tough to digest, but when we take the time to massage a vinaigrette into it, the leaves soften just enough to make a salad that is easy and satisfying on the palate.

Start with your chopped kale in a big bowl. Add a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of vinaigrette. Now get to work. Use your hands and fingertips to literally massage the salt and vinaigrette into the kale leaves. You will see and feel the leaves transform from dry and tough to delicate and somehow more vibrantly dark green.

This process takes about 7 minutes, and can become a totally therapeutic exercise if you let yourself zone out a bit. Once you’re finished, toss the kale with all the other ingredients and enjoy your gourmet salad!

Winter Greens Salad with Citrus Dressing
Yield: serves 8

Winter Greens Salad with Citrus Dressing

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Hearty kale salad with a bright citrus dressing and candied ginger.

Ingredients

  • 3 oranges, any type
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, for the juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 2 large bunches kale (about 20 ounces, or 8 cups chopped)
  • 6 heads endive
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup minced candied ginger

Instructions

1. Zest and juice 1 orange into a small bowl. Whisk in the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, dijon, garlic, and salt.

2. Roughy chop the kale and place in a large mixing bowl. Pour 1/2 of the dressing onto the kale, and use your hands and fingertips to massage the dressing into the kale. Continue to massage until the kale has softened, absorbed some of the dressing, and is dark green, about 7 minutes.

3. Thinly slice the endive. Add the sliced endive, slivered almonds, minced candied ginger, and remaining salad dressing to the kale. Toss to combine well.

4. Peel and section the remaining 2 oranges and serve on top of the salad.

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