THE CORVALLIS CARROT
1 bunch of Italian kale (about 13 large leaves)
1/2 c dried cranberries
1/4 c white basalmic vinegar
1/4 c grapeseed oil
orange zest from 1 orange
1/4 c pinenuts (optional)
kale flowers (for garnish)
yield: 4 servings
This is one of my favorite salads. I eat it year round. The colors are always vibrant, so whether you make it in the winter or summer it's always going to look and taste great. I use the Italian (or lacinato) kale because it holds longer. This salad can sit in your fridge for a couple of days, dressed, and it will still taste good. If you use another type of kale or lettuce the vinegar in the dressing would start to break down the cells in the leaf leaving your salad limp and slimy.
Start by gathering your ingredients together. I decided against the avocado when I took the final picture because I was going to have the salad in the fridge for a couple of days. The avocados tend to oxidize, or turn brown, because there isn't enough acid in the salad to keep them from doing so.
Here's the bunch of kale that I used.
Whenever I cut up an orange for my daughter or use one for juice I make it a point to zest the peel and put the zest in the freezer, this way I have a nice stash of orange zest ready for salads like this. I don't like to throw away the peel because there's so much flavor in the zest. So next time you cut up an orange, zest it before you cut it, and store the zest in the freezer. But zesting a fresh orange is good too. Back to the salad though, add the vinegar and zest to the cranberries. Let this sit for at least 2 hours, preferably over night.
While your cranberries are soaking you can prepare your kale by cutting it or tearing it into bite size pieces.
Put kale into a mixing bowl and shred carrots.
After the 2 hours the cranberries will have absorbed most of the vinegar. There will be a "cranberry vinegar" still in the bowl for the vinaigrette.
Add the oil to the cranberries.
Add cranberries to the salad.
Give the salad a quick toss, and that's it.
I normally only add the avocados and pinenuts if I'm serving the salad as a meal as opposed to a side. But however you serve it, it will taste good.