If you ask me, kale has never looked so pretty...and festive! You will love that this salad is incredibly simple to make, really fresh, super tasty AND you can prepare it ahead of time!
Forget what you already know about kale and salad. Nothing is worse then dried out kale (which is how kale is often served). And that can be such a turn off. The key is to massage the dressing into the leaves and let it sit for awhile (at least 10 minutes) so that the leaves absorb the dressing and become softer and more flavorful. Different ballgame. Now you've got yourself a winner!
So, let's talk about this gorgeous dressing, because I have a feeling that's what drew you in. The beautiful red hue of the dressing against the green leaves is so alluring!
I use frozen organic pomegranate kernels from the bag that I defrost (because it's quicker and easier...but feel free to use fresh if you like), champagne vinegar, orange zest and juice, honey, oil, salt and pepper. I blend it all together in a food processor and it becomes this creamy sweet dressing that is so crazy good, I actually have been known to drink some of it. Oops! Haha!
To top the salad, I use more pomegranate kernels, fresh orange slices and hemp seeds which give it a nutty, almost "parmesan cheese" like flavor. You could stop there as I did, or go ahead and add some goat or feta cheese which is also delicious! (tip: if you do add cheese, add it after you've dressed the salad, since the cheese will become pink otherwise and that takes away a bit of the appealing presentation in my opinion).
Let me know what you think. I'd love to hear from you.
For the Pomegranate Dressing:
½ cup fresh or frozen organic pomegranates kernels (defrosted)
1 ½ tbsp. champagne vinegar (white or apple cider will work well also)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. honey (or more if you like things a little sweeter)
1 tsp. orange zest from a fresh orange
2 tbsp. fresh orange juice
generous pinch of coarse salt and pepper
To Make: Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.
Festive Kale Salad with Pomegranate Dressing
- 5-6 cups pre-washed chopped kale be mindful that the kale will wilt slightly once the dressing is massaged into it
- 1 naval oranges cut into slices
- 2 tablespoon hemp seeds
- feta or goat cheese optional*
- ½ cup pomegranate kernels fresh or defrosted frozen ones
- pomegranate dressing see above
- Make the dressing.
- In a large bowl, massage the kale with a few tablespoons of the dressing until all the leaves are coated and moist.
- Let sit for about 10 minutes.
- Top the salad with orange slices, pomegranate kernels, hemp seeds.
- Drizzle the remaining dressing on top of the salad (then the cheese if desired*) and serve.