Two years ago I totally fell in love with kale as a cooked green, so last year I planted two different varieties of kale in my garden and added the wonderful, nutritious green to many one-pot meals. I can’t believe that as recently as three years ago I though kale was only good for decorating a plate at a restaurant.
Spring forward to a month ago when I picked my first winter kale from my mostly unheated greenhouse (I do resort to a little heat when the temps get down in the single numbers.) and, “Hello, raw kale, where have you been all my life?” I immediately threw the sweet kale into our salad that night.
Then, a few weeks ago my mother introduced me to a kale salad featured in Yankee Magazine and I realized the possibilities of using kale as a salad base. The Harrisville Kale Salad with Cranberries, Feta, and Walnuts is a wonder to behold and a must try if you’re not doing the Whole30 or are not avoiding dairy or the extra sugar in most dried cranberries. Believe me, this salad is wonderful and can be made ahead because kale will hold up to the dressing for up to three days in the refrigerator (unlike lettuce and spinach which will wilt in those conditions.)
As of January first I started on the Whole30 and so decided it was time for a new kale salad that was Whole30 compliant. Sunshine Kale Salad was born.
I call it Sunshine Kale Salad because on a dreary winter day it just looks so darn cheery. The bright green kale contrasting with the sunny eggs and the vibrant pomegranate makes me smile. And the flavor of those three ingredients mixed with the mellow avocado leaves me supremely content. Packed with incredibly healthy fats (from the olive oil and the avocado), complete protein, and vitamin-packed greens and pomegranate, this salad is an easy meal to throw together in a flash. I tossed extra kale with the dressing and stored that overnight for a second salad the next day; adding the rest of the ingredients just before eating.
Sunshine Kale Salad
(makes 2 main-dish salads)
- 1 bunch of kale (Curly green makes the prettiest salad, but you can use Russian or Lacinato kale)
- ¼ – ½ red onion, thinly sliced (quantity depending on your tastes and the size of the onion)
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- Pomegranate seeds (about ½ of the fruit)
- 1 orange (optional)
- 1 shallot, minced
- ¼ cup vinegar (white-wine, red-wine, or cider)
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
Mince the shallot and whisk it and the salt into the vinegar. Let stand for 10 minutes to blend flavors. Then whisk in the olive oil and pepper, adding more pepper and salt to your taste preference. NOTE: an alternative to whisking is to put the shallot, vinegar and salt into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake well and let sit for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the dressing ingredients and shake well again.
Remove the thick stems from the kale, wash it and spin or pat dry, and slice into thin ribbons about ¼ inch thick. Thinly slice the red onion and add to the kale.
Pour some salad dressing over the kale (one third to one half of what you made should be plenty) and toss well until all of the kale is coated.
Pile the kale/onion mix on individual plates. You will probably have some of the mix left over – put this in a container and store in the refrigerator for tomorrow.
Top with egg slices (2 eggs per salad), avocado slices, and a generous sprinkling of pomegranate seeds. Drizzle a little more dressing over these and then squeeze a little fresh orange juice over it all.