Although kale salads could probably win the prize for “trendiest food of 2014,” when I stumble across a really great one, I can’t help but become obsessed. A couple weeks ago, it happened again at the Mother’s Day brunch that we hosted at my house with Minted. Word of Mouth prepared the mouthwatering spread, and I definitely went back for thirds of the kale, orange & hazelnut salad that we served family-style on the table. Though any type of kale would work for this, I love the deep flavor and hearty texture of Tuscan kale — it’s perfect for parties like this since it actually gets better after being dressed and hanging out on the table for a little while (a more delicate lettuce would have totally wilted in the warm afternoon sun.) I can’t wait to make this one for our actual Mother’s Day meal in a couple weeks, maybe paired with an herb-crusted pork tenderloin, roasted brown butter carrots and something really spring-y like peas sautéed with mint. What are y’all planning to serve? I’d love to hear in the comments! Keep reading for the recipe and more drool-worthy photos by Wynn Myers. (Who knew kale could be so gorgeous?!)
Kale, Orange and Hazelnut Salad
- 8 cups Tuscan kale, large stems removed, chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 2 blood oranges or cara cara oranges
- 1/2 cup stilton, or other blue cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup blanched hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
for the vinaigrette:
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon minced parsley
- zest and juice from 1 lemon
- pinch of kosher salt and freshly-ground black pepper
- Make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, combine shallot, garlic, dijon, honey and vinegar. Whisk to combine, then slowly stream in olive oil, whisking continuously. Add parsley, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt and pepper, and whisk everything together.
- Add half of vinaigrette to a large serving bowl, then add kale to the bowl. Use your hands to gently mix everything together, then allow to sit for at least 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes, to allow kale to soften slightly.
- Using a sharp knife, cut all peel and white pith from oranges; discard. Working over the salad bowl, cut between membranes to release segments into bowl; discard membranes.
- Add stilton and hazelnuts and gently toss everything to combine. Garnish with a few more hazelnuts and drizzle with more vinaigrette, if desired.