Okay, so I’ll admit that I made this salad with no real intention of publishing it. I figured, there are enough kale salad recipes to go around, right? Isn’t everyone tired of hearing about kale? But, love it, or leave it, kale is a staple in this household. I “eat” it almost daily in my morning green smoothie, & when I get a particularly beautiful bunch from the farmers’ market or my CSA, I like make a simple salad using this recipe as a blueprint. But, craving a bit of variety, I found myself inspired by a “breakfast salad” round up on The Kitchn, & I realized it was time to sweeten up my savory tendencies. And when last week’s CSA delivery offered another lovely bunch of lacinato kale, along with fresh local blueberries (a first!), I knew exactly what to do…reinvent my “go-to” kale salad. The result was a gorgeous, sweet, flavorful, nutrient dense, superfood creation that was just begging to be featured on the blog. So I grabbed my camera, & snapped a few quick shots.
In my last post, I apologized for the long radio silence & mentioned that I would be giving a life update soon & I promise it’s coming. I’m still looking for the right words to articulate the many shifts that are happening in my world at the moment. I will say that it’s all good, & that I’m on a deep inward journey. I am not necessarily closing myself off, rather, taking pause, quieting & choosing to listen more than share, but this was definitely a salad worth sharing! So here we are.
I love that it came together with mostly locally grown ingredients – kale, tangerine, avocado & blueberry from my CSA, & meyer lemon from the tree in my apartment complex (I am taking FULL advantage of my landlord’s offer of helping myself to the fruit on the tree!). For the dressing, I used a beautiful lavender infused honey, a gift from my chef friend Katie, that she picked up in at La Villa Del Valle in Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe. And yes, I eat honey. In Ayurveda, the vital science of life, consuming honey daily as a food is advocated to promote good health & strength. When I began to adopt a more Ayurvedic diet recently, it was one of the “animal derived” ingredients, along with ghee, that I made a very conscious decision to allow into my diet. It was a personal choice that I feel comfortable with, & support small, local, conscious beekeepers. I think this lavender honey really “makes” the dressing something special. However, I understand if honey is not something that you are comfortable consuming, so agave or maple syrup would make a fine substitute, I am sure. Another Ayurvedic staple – cinnamon, which is invigorating & uplifting – two qualities I am trying to cultivate these days. The sweet, warm, citrusy floral dressing coupled with the unique texture combination of sweet blueberry, creamy avocado, crunchy almonds & tender kale made for a whole adventure in the kale realm. Oh, & I cannot forget the last minute fluffy quinoa addition that makes this a meal worthy salad.
- 1 bunch lacinato kale
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ tsp. pink sea salt
- zest & juice of 1 meyer lemon
- zest & juice of 1 tangerine
- 1 tsp. honey (or natural sweetener of choice)
- pinch of cinnamon
- ½ avocado, diced
- 1 cup blueberries
- ½ cup cooked quinoa
- 2 Tbsp. chopped raw almonds
- Remove kale leaves from the stem & shred into bite sized pieces
- Place kale in a large bowl & drizzle 1 Tbsp olive oil and ¾ tsp salt into leaves, massaging with hands, until leaves begin to wilt Set aside.
- Whisk together lemon & tangerine juice & zest, remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil, honey & cinnamon. Season with a small amount of sea salt & pepper to taste. Pour over kale & massage a bit more.
- Add the quinoa, avocado, blueberries & almonds & toss all together.
I hope you enjoy this fruity, floral, & delicious salad as much as I did. It’s pure springtime in its finest & freshest for me. Happy Monday!