Kale Salad with Dates, Almonds & Citrus Dressing

kalesalad

Your meals for summertime should hopefully reflect the season: light and airy, bursting with JOY and supreme flavor.

Or, at least that was my goal this summer for my meals. And, so far, I’ve stuck to that mantra. Since I have been cooking for one these past few weeks while my kids are off at camp, I’ve been trying to make dishes are equally tasty for lunch and dinner and can be served as left overs the next day.

Last summer, we fell in love with the Kale Salad with Ricotta and Plums. I think I served it at least once a week.

Yesterday I picked a bunch of ready-to-eat lacinto kale from my garden(!!) and I immediately wanted to make a fresh salad. I’ve only cooked with curly kale so I was thrilled to try a new variety. You might know Lacinto kale by its other monikers at your local farm stands and stores: dino kale, black kale, or cavolo nero. Like all other varieties, it’s an incredibly hearty cooking green with dark with a recognizable nutty flavor but, it also boasts myriad health benefits too; it’s rich in many vitamins: Vitamin A, vitamin B-6, β-carotene, lutein and zea-xanthin and on and on.

I found a Kale and Quinoa recipe over at my fave food blog: The Kitchn. I loved everything about- the incorporation of dates and almonds drizzled with a light and tangy citrus dressing. While I didn’t have any red quinoa on hand, I knew that brown rice could be a decent substitute.

Oh my.

The combination of the sweet caramelized onions and the sweet dates juxtaposed with crunch of the slivered almonds is like the perfect storm. Add in some kale and rice and it’s perfection.

But, it’s not over. The citrus dressing is quite unique due to the combination of the Clementine (or mandarin) juice and the maple syrup.

I’m thrilled that I have another easy salad to add to our summer rotation. And, surprisingly, it tasted just as good for left overs on day two.

So, what are you waiting for? Get your kale on and try it.

Happy summer.

 

 

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