Remember the kale craze? Yes, kale is a superfood full of protein, calcium, iron, fiber, vitamins, and other anti-cancer goodness that propelled it to nutritional stardom a few years ago. But kale, (and its other Brassica family members like broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, and kohlrabi) are a great vegetable to cook with as well as eat raw in salads. This kale and jicama salad is full of crunch and complex flavors.
Types of Kale
Curly Kale is the most common type found in the produce section of the grocery store has frilly-edged leaves, dark green, and long stems. It is sold in bunches of 5-7 stems of leaves. Remove the tough hard stems from the leaves and saute, bake, roast, stew or enjoy it raw in a salad. Citrus or any acid will soften the leaves making it great for salads.
Red Kale (but it is more purple) is a variation of the curly kale it is similar in taste and texture. The nooks and crannys are a great place for sauces whether it be a salad dressing or butter when sautéed or liquid when used in soup. The splash of color makes red kale a fun option.
Lacinato Kale (also called Dinosaur Kale, Tuscan Kale, Cavolo Nero) This kale has dark blueish-green pebbled leaves which make this leaf texture look reptilian. This kale has a nice sweet texture and taste when cooked and enjoyed raw.
When using kale, you should remove the stem which is tough to chew and is more bitter in taste. The earthy flavor of the kale leaves is great with hearty flavors like beans, pork and red meat. You can enjoy it fresh in salads by chopping it into smaller pieces and dressing it with a salad dressing that has acid which when massaged into the leaves breaks the kale so the texture improves and the bitterness is lessened. Baby kale does not need to be massaged when using to improve the texture.
Use kale that is bright in color and not turning yellow or brown on the edges which is a sign that it is old. A bunch of kale is usually about 5-7 leaves and will produce about 8 cups raw chopped kale, or cook down to about 1-1/2 cups cooked kale.
Jicama is another fun and lesser used vegetable. It is a large globe shaped root vegetable with light brown skin. The starchy flesh is pale white and used for its great crunch. The flavor is subtle as has been described as a cross between a raw potato and a pear.
An average-sized jicama will provide about 5 cups of vegetables. It is usually diced or julienned.
The combination of the hearty kale and crunchy addition of jicama make this kale and jicama salad a great addition to your recipe box.Print
The bright earthy kale and the crunch of the jicama pair wonderfully with the creamy avocado bites and the sweet orange dressing. This salad is a feast for the eyes and an explosion of taste.
5 stems curly kale, remove stems and chop leaves into bite-size pieces (about 6–7 cups)
1–1/2 cups jicama, peel and finely julienned (about 1/4 of a jicama)
4 oranges, segments cut into supremes
1 avocado, diced (about 1–1/2 cups)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
1–1/2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper
- Remove the stem and chop kale. Add kale to a large salad bowl.
- Peel the jicama and cut the jicama into fine julienne, or grate the jicama on the coarse side of a box grater. Set jicama aside.
- Remove the zest from 1 orange to equal 1 tablespoon orange zest. With a paring knife, remove the peel from the oranges. Carefully cut in-between the membrane to remove each orange segment. Set orange segments aside.
- Combine olive oil, orange juice, lime juice, orange zest, honey, kosher salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Whisk well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
- Pour dressing over the kale and massage leaves gently to softened kale. Add jicama, orange segments, and avocado pieces and toss well to combine.
- Serve and enjoy.
If preparing this salad ahead of time. Make the dressing and chop the ingredients, but don’t combine until just before serving.
- Serving Size: 8 ounces
Keywords: kale, salad, citrus dressing