Winter 2015 Kale Salad

Kale's popularity may have reached its peak, but it's not going away, and I am happy it's here for keeps. I'm a fan of variety and love all dark leafy greens, but I remain most loyal to kale. It's always in my fridge or in my garden bed, waiting to be tossed together with whatever else I have on hand, which makes it fresh and interesting and keeps me coming back. 

The Winter 2015 Kale Salad was inspired by the clean-out-my-fridge chopped salad pictured below. Many of my favorite dishes are the result of throwing together whatever odds and ends are around.  Radish, beets, fennel, broccoli, sprouted lentils, walnuts, grapefruit…it worked.

This recipe is a template which includes some type of onion (green onion), citrus (pink grapefruit), herb (mint), nut or seed (walnut), creamy ingredient (avocado) and crunch (sprouted lentil & radish - I like crunch). It would be just as good substituting shallot, naval orange, cilantro, pepitas, roasted sweet potato, and tiny cauliflower florets. The particular ingredients in this recipe compliment each other beautifully, but since there are a lot of strong flavors, it would still work if you were missing a couple of ingredients. Kale, grapefruit and walnuts - yes. Kale, avocado, mint, radish - yes. Got it?

2 pink grapefruit
2 tablespoons roasted walnut oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 bunch Lacinato kale, finely chopped
4 small or 2 large radishes, sliced into thin half-moons
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup sprouted green lentils (see infographic below)
1/3 cup roughly chopped toasted walnuts
tablespoons finely chopped mint
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

With a sharp knife, remove the skin and the bitter white pith from the grapefruits. Working over a small bowl to catch the juice, cut in between the membranes to release the sections. Place the segments in another small bowl. Squeeze the juice from the membranes into the bowl with the juice. Reserve ¼ cup of juice.

Whisk the oil, mustard and a pinch of salt into the bowl with the grapefruit juice. 

Place the kale in a large bowl. Add the dressing and massage the kale with your hands for 1-2 minutes, until the kale starts to become soft and tender.

Transfer the remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss gently to combine, adding salt and pepper to taste.