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  • Writer's pictureNikki Glekas

Blood Orange Kale Salad

Now that the season of rich food has come to a close it’s time to trot out our healthful winter favorites. This Winter Blood Orange Kale Salad is exactly the sort of recipe you can add to your winter menu rotation without an ounce of concern. It’s high on protein and flavor, low on sugar or anything else that you’re ready to quit until the next holiday season rolls around.

Kale is available year-round and we mostly eat it in the winter. It is a tougher lettuce so I recommend giving it a nice massage when it comes up in the instructions. You really need to soften the leaves or it can remain quite tough and hard to chew. Using clean hands is all you need to do, don’t hold back!

I like to make a large batch of this vinaigrette and use it for a few days. Even if I’m not making this exact salad every time, the vinaigrette tastes incredible on so many things. I love how citrus makes things a little sweeter without any added sugar. (It’s also an easy way to infuse your family with a little extra vitamin C during flu season!)

Once the vinaigrette is made, assemble your salad in a big bowl, go to town with your kale massage, then finish it up with all the toppings and the like. Serve the salad right away. Once it’s been dressed you don’t want to wait too long or else the kale will get really limp and wilted.

To round out this meal I like to serve the kale with salmon, chicken, or another lean protein. This completes our healthy, yet flavorful, winter meal. I know this can be a tough need to thread in January, but it’s worth it. I think you’ll find this is definitely one of those recipes that manages to be healthy, without compromising on flavor. Enjoy!

 Winter Blood Orange Kale Salad

This flavorful salad is wonderful for winter months. It’s hearty and healthy, and the citrus vinaigrette bursts with flavor! 

Serves 4 to 6 

For the salad:

  • 4 cups clean, chopped kale (curly or Lacinato)

  • 3-4 blood oranges, peeled and segmented

  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese 

For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon fresh blood orange juice

  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 tsp Salt and ½ tsp black pepper 


Make the Vinaigrette:In a small bowl, whisk together the extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, fresh blood orange juice, honey or maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Assemble the Salad:

In a large salad bowl, add the chopped kale and red onion. Pour half of the vinaigrette over the kale and use your hands to massage the vinaigrette into the kale for a few minutes. This helps to soften the kale and infuse it with flavor. Add the blood orange segments on top of the massaged kale. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the salad. Gently toss everything together to combine.

Top the salad with the toasted pine nuts and crumbled feta cheese (if using) on top of the salad. Enjoy!

Nikki Glekas is the owner of Nikki Glekas Events, a full-service catering and events company located in Stamford, CT.. To discuss further please contact or call 203.658.8659.

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