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Citrus Kale Salad with Orange Maple Salmon

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to cater a corporate event in partnership with Misfits Market.

The lunch-and-learn focused on how to reduce food waste through purchase and utilization of the “ugly ducklings” in the produce world.

So I created an entire menu based on two large boxes of produce that Misfits sent my way! I used everything from carrots to mangoes to green beans to potatoes.

But the star of the show in my option?

This salad.

I added salmon to mine after the fact, but it is delish as a plant-based option as well!

Now it’s no secret that kale can be straight-up rabbit food.

Tough, fibrous, tasteless…who wants to eat that?

So how do we transform cardboard of the greens world into a tender nutrient-dense salad base?

Vinaigrette.

Specifically this Orange Maple Vinaigrette.

The acidity of the fresh orange juice breaks down the rough kale, producing a deliciously marinated result.

To get all of the dressing goodness to work it;s magic, a nice plant massage is required.

Pour in the dressing and massage for about 5 minutes.

And the cool thing about this? The longer the marinade time, the more tender the kale. So you can prepare in advance!

Now, let’s talk about the other goodies on this salad.

These are watermelon radishes.

Slicing through the seemingly drab exterior reveals a gorgeous hot pink center.

They can be eaten raw, but I was going for a tangy, crunchy salad topping.

So it was time to slice and pickle.

I pickled these like I would any other veggie.

(And if you’ve never pickled anything…jump on the train!)

Bring apple cider vinegar and water to a boil on the stove. Dissolve some salt. Pour boiling mixture over the radishes.

Then let it cool down and transform into this masterpiece.

Then they can be stored in the fridge for quite a while.

The Misfits boxes came packed with shishito peppers as well.

Not a huge fan of plain hot peppers, and I wanted to add a backyard-bbq-char element to my salad. So I blistered them in a hot cast iron skillet.

See them on the left there? All black and scrumptious.

To top it all off, I sliced the Misfits grapefruits into segments and poured a bit more dressing over the top.

Now if you wanted to add salmon (recommended IMO), you can use the leftover vinaigrette as a marinade!

Just pour some over the top of a fillet and add an orange slice.

Stick in the oven for 10 minutes, and you have yourself a flavorful protein topper!

That’s it folks!

Super simple dressing that can be made in advance.

Pickled radishes to last a lifetime.

Flaky sweet salmon.

Now that’s a winner in my book!

Citrus Kale Salad with Orange Maple Salmon

A delish harmony of fresh spring flavors! Perfect for a spring get-together or weeknight meal.

Ingredients

Orange Maple Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbsp pomagraate vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

Pickled Radishes

  • 2 watermelon radishes
  • 1 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt

Salad

  • kale
  • shishito peppers
  • grapefruit
  • salmon

Instructions

  • Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a mason jar and shake until homogeneous.
  • Remove kale from the stems and rip into pieces.
  • Add kale and 1/2 cup of vinaigrette to a large bowl and massage for about 5 minutes.
  • Pour a bit of the vinaigrette on the salmon. Add a slice of orange over the top.
  • Bake the Salmon at 350 degrees for 10 minutes,
  • Blister the shishito peppers in a hot cast iron skillet.
  • Segment the grapefruit (removing all skin).
  • Plate it up, and drizzle an extra bit of vinaigrette over the top.

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