If you’re looking for comfort food today, you just might want to click right on over to another site. There are lots of blogs that are sharing all kinds of delicious, delightful holiday recipes, ideas and inspirations as we count down to Thanksgiving here in the US.
But, if you’re looking for something fresh, seasonal, vibrant and super delicious, don’t even think of moving that mouse. This Kale and Clementine Salad is the perfect antidote for all the heavy, rich food that seems to be here, there and everywhere these days.
I’ve already made it three times and served it to family and friends. All of my taste-testers loved it. And there’s lots to love about it: ribbons of healthy kale and crisp white cabbage, sweet clementines, dried cranberries and ruby red pomegranate arils.
The finishing touches? A scatter of sweet and spicy honey roasted sunflower seeds, so crunchy and delicious you may have to hide them if you want any left for the salad! Oh, and there’s a super simple, bursting with flavor Clementine Ginger Dressing to tie it all together.
But just between you and me, I have to say that eating a bowl of raw kale would not rank high on my favs list. And being honest, I think kale is kind of tough, kind of chewy (and a little bit stinky too!). But I know it's one of those super foods (experts call it "the new beef" and"a nutritional powerhouse") and that it's loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fiber; along with being the perfect detox food. It’s also a sturdy green that holds up well and is perfect for make-ahead salads.
Guess what? Learning all the great health benefits has spurred me on to discover some tricks that I employ to transform kale into a delightful salad star that even the most ardent kale critic will enjoy. I've become quite the aficionado now too.
First of all, I like to slice the kale nice and thin (you can also tear it into small pieces). This instantly makes these curly greens more tender. I also like to tone down the kale a bit by combining it with another type of green, like spinach, field greens, watercress, micro greens or cabbage. Last, before adding other ingredients to my kale salads, I take a spoonful or two of olive oil or salad dressing and spend a minute or two massaging the kale. Massaging? Yup, a quick massage with clean fingers is quite magical, not only for sore necks but also for tough kale. It softens and tenderizes the greens right before your eyes.
This Kale and Clementine Salad would be a perfect side with beef, pork, chicken or seafood. I took it to a dinner party and it paired wonderfully with the hostess’s Beef Bourguignon. It would be a beautiful, healthy and festive addition to any holiday meal. Try it, I think your family/friends will be requesting this one again and again.
P.S. I’m actually finishing up this post while in a London cab on a wet, rainy, quintessential London morning. We spent the night flying across “the Pond” and will soon be with our daughter and her family here in London. We can’t wait! The Café will be posting from the UK for the next ten days and we’ll be sure to share some of our adventures. But for now, as they say here in London, “Cheerio!"
Addendum: Due to a bit of jet lag and four very excited little children, I didn't get this post sent out earlier today, as anticipated, so I decided to share a few pics of our first day in London. We picked up our granddaughters after school, got on the Tube (the London underground) and headed to The Tower of London area where there was a magnificent display commemorating those who died in WW1. There were 888,000 ceramic poppies "planted" all around the tower in an art installation by artist, Paul Cummins aptly called "Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red". One poppy for every British soldier who died in WW1. It was truly a poignant sight to behold. Here are a few pics Scott caught;
Instead of getting back on the Tube right away, we strolled along the beautiful Thames River, holding hands with our girlies who chattered, skipped, sang and caught us up on all that's been happening in their little world.
As you can imagine, we're falling wearily bed tonight and hoping to soon be in dreamy-land! Night, night!
- ½ cup salted roasted sunflower seeds
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 teaspoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt if needed
- 4 cups cabbage
- 4 cups kale
- 4 medium clementines peeled, sliced horizontally, slices halved
- ½ cup pomegranate arils or seeds
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- Clementine Ginger Salad Dressing
For the sunflower seeds, preheat oven to 350. Line a baking pan with foil. Spray lightly with cooking spray or rub a bit of oil onto pan with a paper towel.
Combine sunflower seeds, olive oil, honey and spices on prepared pan. Toss to coat. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes or until golden, stirring and redistributing every 5 minutes. Cool slightly and taste. Add sea salt, if needed. Cool on pan, stirring occasionally.
For the salad, place kale in a large serving bowl. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the Clementine Ginger Dressing. Massage for 1-2 minutes with your fingers until kale begins to soften. Add cabbage and toss to combine. Add clementines, pomegranate arils, dried cranberries and more Clementine Ginger Dressing (to taste) and toss gently. Scatter with sunflower seeds. Serve and pass extra dressing at the table, if desired.
Michelle stillman says
Another one of your salads in the MUST SERVE AGAIN category! Since I didn't have the greens this recipe calls for on hand, I used baby arugula, with great results. Our Rocky Mountain town offers pomegranate arils in the frozen section, and with my not planning ahead to defrost those little "pops of wow", each bite offered our mouths a little extra cool-cheer.
Chris Scheuer says
Awesome! Thanks for letting us know, Michelle!
I made this salad for Christmas dinner. It was really well-received, making a pretty and yummy addition to the meal. An added plus was that it held up better than some salads, making it easier to take when visiting family. Thanks for sharing the recipe!!.
Chris Scheuer says
You're very welcome Laura! Kale does hold up much better than a lot of leafy greens.
Chris, Im Diane Kincaid sister from UT. She made this salad the other day for a party she was catering and called me and said, you have to make this salad. So, I did. loved loved loved it! I will make it again over the holidays.
Loved your pictures of Provence, brought back fond memories for me. Hoping to return there one day.
Chris Scheuer says
Thanks and welcome to The Café Pam! That's so funny, because we just saw Diane in the store last week! So good to "virtually" meet you!
Melanie | Melanie Makes says
Chris, you know who would absolutely love this? My 6y0! She loves anything kale and all things clementine. Can't wait to give this a try as I know she'll be an instant fan, as will I! Pinned!
You can compose a salad like no other, this is a beauty!
Denise Browning@From Brazil To You says
Have a great time with your family in London, Chris! The pics are simply breathtaking. I hope can visit it one day,
This salad is great for our holiday table as well as an everyday salad.
Suzy @ The Mediterranean Dish says
Yes, lots of sites are offering heavy comfort foods; tis the season. I love this salad, Chris. I don't mind kale, but it does need a little work to transform into delicious. And you certainly provided that here! The sweet and spicy sunflower seeds are brilliant! I'm afraid they'd be gone before they top that lovely salad 🙂
I've never mixed those flavours but it looks so amazing I am definitely going to do it. Thank you for sharing!
hope you're having heaps of fun in London!! 🙂 I bought some kale the other day for my salad that I bring to school, but I didn't really like the kale very much (luckily I'd mixed it with plenty of other greens so it wasn't too bad haha)- wish I'd seen this first- it looks so much better than my salad!
Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon says
I love this salad Chris. Texture, Color, it doesn't get any better than this.
I saw the poppy display on tv. I was shocked by the 888,000 people lost.
Hope you have a great vacation/holiday with your little ones, big ones too.
Enjoy your stay with the kiddos! I was so glad to see pomegranates back in the grocery store this week! (We have a hard time finding kale, thought).
I adore kale and your salad looks like a perfect way to serve it!
Enjoy your time in London, and soak up every moment with your granddaughters!
Your photos of the poppies are incredible…what a sight to behold!
This salad looks scrumptious. Perfect for lunch. I love the combination. Great post. 🙂
Oh yes! I am looking for something fresh, seasonal, vibrant and super delicious and I want it right away!!
Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg says
I admit, I'm not crazy for kale either, but I would make this salad, Chris....with the kale. and that dressing sound delicious!
Ginny Hartzler says
The bridge is just gorgeous, it looks like two fairy princess castles. And those poppies, they almost look like a river of blood, and I am sure that is what was intended. Your salad looks like stained glass art, it is your most gorgeous yet!!
Hi Chris, beautiful salad, another great dressing. I heard about the WW1 poppy display, how touching to see that in person. So wonderful to spend time with family!
Chris what a lovely salad to serve at anytime but I'm thinking Thanksgiving would be a perfect time to try this. Your photos are beautiful of London, I'm envious and can't wait to experience that side of the world for my self. Enjoy the time with your sweet family.
Judit + Corina @ Glamorous Bite says
Oh Chris, what a lovely trip to London, the flowers are just beautiful and your salad looks very festive, fresh, and fun. Just right for the holidays. Cheers! J+C
Dear Chris, what a fabulous salad, so vibrant and healthy with all the right seasonal flavors - what a healthy and delicious alternative to all the other fare out there - what a treat for family and friends!
Hope you are spending an absolutely wonderful time in the UK with the grandchildren/children/family - enjoy every moment of your stay!
You are only one hour away by plane from us....liebe Grüsse,
Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen says
Stunning salad Chris. I can't wait to give it a try. Your photos of the night views of the bridge could be a postcard.
Sophia @ NY Foodgasm says
Woah this is so colorful and beautiful!! Gorgeous work!!
Your salad sounds divine Chris, I am going to make it for my goodie swap group brunch in December, I have been looking for a festive and special salad and this is perfect! I look forward to seeing your photos from across the pond, the sea of ceramic poppies is incredible!
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
I love those clicks of night view ... so beautiful! Excellent, Scott.
I had a kale salad with clementine yesterday too, but not so fancy and beautiful like yours.
Have a wonderful weekend!
I'm filled with joy that you're there with the little ones (and the big ones too)
How come I didn't know about spicy honey roasted sunflower seeds? OMG those look so good and would really 'make' this salad. It's salad time here and that's all I want to eat. Going to be over 100F here tomorrow and that's too hot to bake.