Mandarin Orange Kale Salad
Mandarin Orange Kale Salad with Mandarin Vinaigrette is the lightness we crave in the depths of winter. Each bite bursts with juicy mandarins, crunchy kale, fennel and almonds dressed in a citrus dressing — you will love how this simple and refreshing salad brings balance to the table!
Mandarin Orange Kale Salad with Mandarin Vinaigrette is the lightness we crave in the depths of winter. Each bite bursts with juicy mandarins, crunchy kale, fennel and almonds dressed in a citrus dressing — you will love how this simple and refreshing salad brings balance to the table! This post is brought to you by Wonderful Halos.
There’s a running joke in our house, and it all started on Thanksgiving.
As we dug into the turkey and stuffing, potatoes and gravy, I looked around the table and noticed that my daughter and I were the only ones who had cranberry sauce on our plates.
This wasn’t a big surprise — the boys of the family aren’t big fans of cranberry sauce with their Thanksgiving plates, but they’ll happily gobble it up when I reinvent the leftovers into muffins and granola and salad dressing.
I can’t help but try to convince them (yet again) that they need a little balance to all the heaviness on the plate, so I found myself saying, “You really should try some cranberry sauce — it adds so much brightness! It’s like heavy, heavy, heavy LIGHT!”
And maybe it was the way I said it, or the crazy hand motions as I pointed to the elements on the plate, or maybe you had to have been there, but my husband and son started mimicking me, and from that moment on, they’ll tease, “Oh, you would like this salad! It’s like heavy, heavy, heavy LIGHT!” Or “You know when you’re wearing all these sweaters and you take one off, it’s like heavy, heavy, heavy LIGHT!”
But isn’t it true? We need something light to balance all the heavy, and that couldn’t be more true right now, in the winter, as we plow through all the comfort food. I crave something refreshing to balance the creamy sauces, the braised stews, the pie dough, the casseroles. And even if my family makes fun of me, I know they agree.
So I braced myself as I brought this Mandarin Orange Kale Salad to the table last night. My son’s eyes lit up as he saw his beloved Wonderful Halos sliced into the salad (my son loves Halos as a snack since they are sweet, seedless and easy to peel), and I was especially excited to see my husband’s reaction as he pierced his fork into the juicy mandarins, kale and fennel. “It’s really good!” he nodded. “Refreshing, right?” I smiled.
You can imagine what they said next.
How do you lighten up and add a fresh twist to your meal? Try adding this sweet snack into your favorite dishes! Wonderful Halos mandarins are bursting with flavor, adding a unique twist to even the simplest recipes.
Disclosure: This post is brought to you in partnership with Wonderful Halos. Thank you for supporting brands that matter to me; sponsored posts such as this help behind the scenes at Kitchen Confidante. All opinions in this post are, as always, my own.
MANDARIN ORANGE KALE SALAD
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed mandarin juice about 1 mandarin orange
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the salad:
- 3 cups chopped lacinato kale
- 1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 4 Wonderful Halos mandarin oranges peeled, halved and sliced into 1/4 inch half moons
- 1/3 cup almonds if you have Marcona, splurge and use them here, otherwise, any almond is perfect
- 1/4 cup fennel fronds
Make the dressing:
In a small bowl, whisk together the mandarin orange juice, honey and mustard.
While whisking, drizzle in the olive oil and continue whisking until the dressing is fully emulsified.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Make the salad:
In a bowl, toss together the kale, fennel and red onion.
Dress with about 1/4 cup of the dressing and toss well.
Transfer the salad to a serving bowl, and top with mandarins, almonds and fennel fronds.
Serve with remaining dressing on the side.