Folks, I need lots of salad these days. Though I always go into the holiday season with the best intentions of not over-doing the sweets, the drinks, and the fatty carbs, I still consistently manage to wake up in late January wondering why none of my jeans fit. I usually try to blame it on the dryer – they shrunk! – but I know that’s not the case. It’s time to face reality and get back on track. This salad is here to set me straight!
For this salad, I incorporate some Greek flavors: dried oregano, fresh lemon juice, chickpeas, and flat-leaf parsley…on a bed of lacinato (dino) kale. I also add blood orange zest and segments, avocado slices for it’s creamy balance to the acidity of the lemon juice, toasted cashews, and dried currents for a pop of sweetness. It’s all kinds of textures and all kinds of nutrition. Healthy greens, check! Healthy protein, check! Healthy fats, check! Lots of flavor, check!
Add the chopped kale, flat-leaf parsley, blood orange zest, and dried oregano to a bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1 – 2 lemons (depending on how juicy they are) over the salad and drizzle in some extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with a couple pinches of salt and few grinds of pepper. Then get in there with your hands and give it a good massage. This will help the citrus and oil relax and soften the kale and get all the flavors grooving together. Taste and add a bit of sugar or agave nectar if needed.
Add in the chickpeas, toasted chopped cashews and dried currants and mix together. Divide the salad among plates then top with avocado slices and blood orange segments. (I cut the blood oranges into supremes, here’s a how-to video)
Sprinkle the avocado slices with a pinch of course salt and dig in!
Citrusy Kale Salad with Avocado, Chickpeas and Cashews
handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 – 3 blood oranges, zested and cut into supremes/segments
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 – 2 lemons
extra virgin olive oil, about 2 – 3 Tablespoons
salt and pepper
sugar or agave nectar
toasted cashews, chopped
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
Add the chopped kale, parsley, blood orange zest, and oregano to a large bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1 – 2 lemons over the salad (I had a very juicy lemon so I only used one). Drizzle the olive oil over top and season with salt and pepper. Using clean hands, mix everything together and massage dressing into the kale for a minute or two – this helps soften it a bit and incorporate all the flavors. Taste and adjust seasoning; add a bit of sugar or agave nectar if needed.
To the bowl, add dried currants, toasted cashews, and chickpeas – add as much or as little of each as you prefer. Mix together using tongs, then divide evenly among plates. Top with avocado slices and blood orange segments. Sprinkle the avocado with a pinch of salt. Enjoy!