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SEASONAL RECIPES

Recipe: Brighten the winter table with a salad of kale, oranges, and roasted carrots

Kale and Orange Salad with Roasted CarrotsSally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe

Serves 4

Even on the coldest days, we need something fresh and crisp on the menu. This colorful combination of kale, roasted carrots, and oranges will put some zip into a winter meal. Use lacinato kale, also known as Tuscan kale, which has long leaves and is slightly thinner and more tender than curly kale. Both varieties benefit from a quick massage to soften the leaves. Strip off the stems, tear up the leaves, and sprinkle them with some of the orange dressing, then massage with your hands to tenderize the leaves. To avoid overdoing it, massage the lacinato kale just until it starts to wilt. It should still be crisp but not difficult to chew. Whole roasted carrots add some heft to the salad, and pair nicely with oranges. If you want more substance, add a layer of your favorite cooked grain, such as quinoa or farro. We're gaining about two minutes of light every day, and while we wait for even more, this salad should brighten the table.

CARROTS

4large carrots, halved lengthwise or 8 whole, slender carrots
2tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1/2 orange
1teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

2. Mound the carrots on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, orange juice, honey, and a generous pinch each of salt, and pepper. Toss to coat and spread them in one layer.

3. Roast for 15 minutes, turn, and continue roasting for 10 minutes, or until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. (Total roasting time is about 25 minutes.) Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.

SALAD

Juice of 1 orange
2tablespoons lime juice
2tablespoons sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
½teaspoon Dijon mustard
½teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper, to taste
6tablespoons olive oil
1bunch Lacinato (Tuscan) kale
6 mixed oranges, such as Navel, Cara Cara, or blood oranges
¼cup pomegranate arils (seeds)
2tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds

1. In a small bowl, whisk the orange and lime juices with the vinegar, mustard, honey, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.

2. Slowly whisk in the oil. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

3. Strip the kale leaves from the stems; discard the stems. Tear the leaves into small pieces and place in a bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons of the orange-lime dressing. With clean hands, firmly massage the dressing into the kale until the leaves darken and look shiny. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like.

4. With a serrated knife, trim the ends of each orange. Stand 1 orange, flat end down, on a cutting board. Using the knife in a sawing motion, curving with the shape of the orange, cut the pith and peel from top to bottom. Repeat all around the orange until only the flesh is visible. Cut the orange into slices. Repeat with the remaining oranges.

5. Arrange the kale on a platter. Set the carrots and oranges on top. Sprinkle with pomegranate and sunflower seeds and the remaining dressing.

Sally Pasley Vargas

Serves 4

Even on the coldest days, we need something fresh and crisp on the menu. This colorful combination of kale, roasted carrots, and oranges will put some zip into a winter meal. Use lacinato kale, also known as Tuscan kale, which has long leaves and is slightly thinner and more tender than curly kale. Both varieties benefit from a quick massage to soften the leaves. Strip off the stems, tear up the leaves, and sprinkle them with some of the orange dressing, then massage with your hands to tenderize the leaves. To avoid overdoing it, massage the lacinato kale just until it starts to wilt. It should still be crisp but not difficult to chew. Whole roasted carrots add some heft to the salad, and pair nicely with oranges. If you want more substance, add a layer of your favorite cooked grain, such as quinoa or farro. We're gaining about two minutes of light every day, and while we wait for even more, this salad should brighten the table.

CARROTS

4large carrots, halved lengthwise or 8 whole, slender carrots
2tablespoons olive oil
Juice of 1/2 orange
1teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

2. Mound the carrots on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, orange juice, honey, and a generous pinch each of salt, and pepper. Toss to coat and spread them in one layer.

3. Roast for 15 minutes, turn, and continue roasting for 10 minutes, or until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. (Total roasting time is about 25 minutes.) Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.

SALAD

Juice of 1 orange
2tablespoons lime juice
2tablespoons sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
½teaspoon Dijon mustard
½teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper, to taste
6tablespoons olive oil
1bunch Lacinato (Tuscan) kale
6 mixed oranges, such as Navel, Cara Cara, or blood oranges
¼cup pomegranate arils (seeds)
2tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds

1. In a small bowl, whisk the orange and lime juices with the vinegar, mustard, honey, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.

2. Slowly whisk in the oil. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and pepper, if you like.

3. Strip the kale leaves from the stems; discard the stems. Tear the leaves into small pieces and place in a bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons of the orange-lime dressing. With clean hands, firmly massage the dressing into the kale until the leaves darken and look shiny. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, if you like.

4. With a serrated knife, trim the ends of each orange. Stand 1 orange, flat end down, on a cutting board. Using the knife in a sawing motion, curving with the shape of the orange, cut the pith and peel from top to bottom. Repeat all around the orange until only the flesh is visible. Cut the orange into slices. Repeat with the remaining oranges.

5. Arrange the kale on a platter. Set the carrots and oranges on top. Sprinkle with pomegranate and sunflower seeds and the remaining dressing.Sally Pasley Vargas