Citrus Kale Salad with Lemon & Ricotta

I wanted this to be a fall salad, but then I couldn’t find pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and I realized grapefruit is a winter fruit so we’ll just call it a salad. It’s a salad. It’s delicious. Eat it when you want.

 

The trick here is massaging the kale. I didn’t know this trick when I first started making kale salads and wondered why the ones at the restaurants were always light years more tender and prettier than mine. Then I found out about the kale massage. Now I make killer kale salads.

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Adding lemon or any citrus fruit juice will break the kale down a bit, making it tender, easier to chew, and a prettier green color. The citric acid, in combination with the non-heme iron found in leafy greens, makes their iron more bioavailable (easier for your body to absorb and use). Adding olive oil, a healthy fat, coats the leaves with a nice oily texture and makes them easier to massage. So, pour some on and get in there. This is your dressing.

To further enhance the citrus flavor, I added grapefruit. Get ruby red if you want a prettier salad than mine. The quinoa and sunflower seeds add heartiness and protein, and the honey and ricotta make the salad rich and sexy.

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Ingredients

(recipe yields about 2 servings)

*Warning: I eye-balled all of this. I recommend using portions that look right for you. Use this as a guide or rough estimate.

  1. ½ cup cooked red quinoa

  2. ½  bunch purple (or regular) kale

  3. 1 tbsp lemon juice

  4. 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  5. 1 large grapefruit

  6. ¼ cup ricotta

  7. 1 tbsp sunflower seeds

  8. 2 tbsp honey

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa according to instructions on package

  2. Place quinoa in refrigerator for at least 1 hour to cool

  3. Remove the stems from the kale, then chop or tear leaves into bite-sized pieces

  4. In a large bowl add kale, lemon juice & olive oil

  5. Massage the lemon juice and olive oil into the kale leaves until they are thoroughly coated, brighter and slightly transparent

  6. Transfer kale to two bowls and split evenly

  7. Add about ¼ cup quinoa to the top of each salad

  8. Remove rind from grapefruit, cut into bite-sized pieces, add to each bowl

  9. Add ricotta, sunflower seeds and drizzle honey on top of each salad