When you are in need of colorful dish, this winter kale salad welcomes winters harvest with pops of color and layers of flavor. Massaged kale is tossed with radicchio, roasted beets and sweet orange segments. Toss in some toasted walnuts and crumbles of creamy goat cheese for a truly fantastic and hearty salad.
Inspired by the winter seasons harvest, this winter kale salad is full of color, texture and various layers of flavors.
Massaged kale is loaded with sweet bitter radicchio, sweet roasted beets and the most beautiful segments of deep hued cara cara oranges.
For added texture, lightly toasted walnuts garnish the salad for crunch and creaminess as well as crumbles of tangy and creamy goat cheese. This is quite literally, the epitome of a perfect winter salad, if I do say so myself.
Why you’ll Love this Recipe
- This winter kale salad has everything to love! Bright colors, different textures and layers of flavor!
- Thicker kale and radicchio are robust enough to prep days in advance without wilting.
- This kale salad utilizes the best of winter seasons produce for maximum flavor.
- Dino Kale: also called lacinato kale, dino kale is more tender compared to green curly kale and is hardy enough to hold up to dressings for days without wilting.
- Radicchio: One of my favorite winter lettuces, radicchio is a chicory leaf that is deep purple with a bitter flavor. If you enjoy the taste of bitter and looking for expand your winter greens palate, add leaves of radicchio to your salads. Radicchio is often used in Italian cuisine and I like adding some to Chopped Antipasto Salad.
- Roasted Beets: Beets are one of my favorite ingredients to add to all sorts of salads. Beets offer sweetness and beautiful color too. Many stores have cooked beets already done, which I like to use in a pinch, but roasting your own is easy as well. To roast beets, cut large ones in half and wrap in foil. Roast the beets at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 50-60 minutes until tender.
- Cara Cara Orange: In the winter months, citrus is at its peak and cara cara oranges are juicier and sweeter than ever. If you prefer a less sweet citrus, use grapefruit or blood orange.
- Walnuts: Whole walnuts are lightly toasted for crunch and slight creaminess. Other options are toasted pecans, almonds or pumpkin seeds.
- Goat Cheese: Tangy and creamy, look for goat cheese that comes in a log, which is creamier than the crumbled options. If goat cheese isn’t to your liking, substitute with crumbled feta cheese.
- Balsamic Vinaigrette: A simple blend of olive oil, balsamic, Dijon mustard, honey and fresh cara cara orange juice.
Make the Kale Salad
- Roast the Beets. Cut large beets in half and wrap in foil Place the beets in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven and roast for 1 hour until tender and the beets are easily pierced with a knife. Once roasted, let cool, peel and chop into small cubes.
- Prep the Kale. Remove the stem from the kale and shred the leaves thinly. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the kale and massage the oil into the leaves to tenderize.
- Make the Balsamic Vinaigrette. To a mason jar, add the olive oil, balsamic, Dijon, honey, orange juice and salt and pepper and shake to combine. Season with salt and pepper and taste for seasoning.
- Assemble the Salad. To a large bowl, add the massaged kale, chopped radicchio and cubed roasted beets and drizzle with enough vinaigrette to evenly coat all of the leaves and toss to combine. Add the segmented orange, toasted walnuts and goat cheese and give the salad one final toss.
Yes, kale is sturdy enough to be made ahead of time and won’t wilt easily. Massage some of the dressing or olive oil into the shredded kale up to 3 days in advance.
You don’t have to peel beets, but it will have a more appetizing texture. Once roasted, peel the beets and cut the beets into cubes for your salad.
More Salads to Try
- Julia Child Salad Nicoise
- Greek Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas and Lemon Vinaigrette
- Salmon Shawarma Salad
- Kale Tabbouleh with Pomegranate
- Lemon Couscous Salad with Chickpeas
Winter Kale Salad with Radicchio and Roasted Beets
- 1 bunch dino kale stems removed and shredded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil for massaging kale
- 1 small radicchio chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 large roasted beet peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes, yellow or red beets
- 1 cara cara orange peeled and segmented
- 1 cup toasted walnuts roughly chopped
- 4 ounces goat cheese roughly crumbled
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 cara cara orange juiced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Roast the Beets. Cut large beets in half and wrap in foil Place the beets in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven and roast for 1 hour until tender and the beets can easily be pierced with a knife.
- Once roasted, let the beets cool, then peel and chop into small cubes.
- Prep the Kale. Remove the leaves from the stem and shred the leaves thinly. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the kale leaves and massage the oil into the leaves to tenderize, then add to a large bowl.
- Make the Balsamic Vinaigrette. To a mason jar, add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, honey, orange juice and salt and pepper and shake to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
- Assemble the Salad. To a kale, add the chopped radicchio and cubed roasted beets and drizzle with enough vinaigrette to evenly coat all of the leaves and toss to combine.
- Add the segmented orange, toasted walnuts and goat cheese and give the salad one final toss and serve. Add more dressing if desired.