Quick to make and delightful warm or chilled, this Kale Quinoa Salad with Cara Cara Oranges is a perfect winter salad.
Back in November, I bought a bag of mandarin oranges, thinking they would fulfill my family’s need for clementines when the cool weather set in. But although all clementines are mandarins, not all mandarins are clementines. This is, ultimately, my long-winded way of saying the fruits didn’t pass muster. They were, as mandarins can be, a tart-bland combination. We wanted sweet.
So I watched the citrus shelves at our local grocery store, waiting for the clementines to arrive but they never did. Two months later, they still haven’t. Maybe they aren’t coming this year.
But sweet, slightly pink cara cara oranges, a type of naval orange, has been widely available so I’ve taken to those instead. They can’t be peeled as easily as clementines, but the flesh has such a lovely flavor that I hardly mind. I peel and segment them for snacks, leaving them in the fridge to chill before I eat them (I really love cold citrus!).
And that’s where the inspiration for this salad began. I wanted to use those sweet cara cara oranges in a way that would highlight their flavor among savory ingredients. Add in a leafy green, an allium, a bit of cheese, perhaps a grain. Mix up a tangy-sweet vinaigrette. Toss it all together.
This Kale Quinoa Salad with Cara Cara Oranges is the result — a lovely, healthy quinoa and kale-based salad with those delightful oranges, pepitas and a bit of feta cheese. If you aren’t into cheese though, the feta is totally optional.
Although I know it’s pretty popular to go over the steps in a post like this before delivering the recipe, it’s unnecessary here. This salad is quick, easy and simple to make. Just follow the instructions below. I am sure you’ll do an excellent job.
And if you have specific questions before you make this, ask them in a comment. Your questions might just help someone else.
This salad is delicious served warm, just after its made. But the flavors also deepen as it stands, so it’s excellent made ahead and chilled too. This could be served alone as a meal, but it’s also lovely with marinated chicken or sauteed shrimp.
- 1 cup quinoa, prepared
- 4 cups chopped fresh kale
- 2 cara cara oranges, peeled and divided into wedges
- 1 shallot, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup pepitas (hulled roasted pumpkin seeds)
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Add the prepared quinoa to a large mixing bowl with the kale, cara cara oranges, shallots, pepitas and feta cheese. Toss well to thoroughly combine.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, olive oil, honey, dijon mustard and salt until smooth. Pour over the salad. Toss well.
- Serve immediately.