Seasonal Salad for Thanksgiving
Maybe it’s because my birthday is in the fall, but it’s always been one of my favorite seasons. As a New Yorker, fall meant perfect, crisp afternoons in Central Park. As a traveler, fall meant globally amicable weather from Seoul to Paris to New Orleans.
One more reason to love fall: the seasonal flavors that find their way to the table. The chill in the air somehow makes us especially appreciative of the rich and fresh flavors we can still savor. I love the deep flavors of dark leafy greens and the brightness of citrus coming into season just in time to cheer us up on grey days.
Here’s one of my favorite fresh kale salads that has graced our humble dinner table as well as been enjoyed at dinner parties large and small. (Tip for a guest: Bring this salad in its own serving dish with serving utensils. The host will be grateful for a dish that takes no additional prep or kitchen resources)
Honestly, this salad pops with so many flavors, from rich to bright, that the oohs and the aahs will make this a stealth-health dish. If you’re so inclined to contemplate all the goodness you’re doing for your health as well as your palate, be assured that superveggie kale will provide tons of antioxidant vitamin A, and the citrus in the dressing and the grapefruit bring lots of vitamin C. The hazelnuts provide primarily unsaturated fats to help absorb fat-soluble vitamin A, as well as some protein and B vitamins.
A Seasonal Salad to be Thankful For
Lacinato Kale, Shaved Fennel, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Toasted Filberts, with Red Wine-Honey Vinaigrette
1 bunch Lacinato kale (aka dinasour kale), washed, dried and torn into bite size pieces
1 fruit Ruby red grapefruit, supremed (aka cutting the flesh of segments out, here’s a handy video)
5-8oz Filberts (aka hazelnuts), roasted (10 minutes in a pan over medium heat, or on a baking sheet at 350F in the oven should just about do it – with either method it’s best to give them a stir now and then for even toasting)
Optional: Chopped dill
Dressing: Extra virgin olive oil, Pinot noir red wine vinegar, Honey, Juice from 1 lemon and 1 lime, Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large bowl, combine the kale, fennel, and dill (if using)
2. Prepare dressing to your personal preference, whisk until all ingredients are combined (as a general rule of thumb, use 2 parts oil, 1 part vinegar, and 1 TBSP honey. You can add juice from the lemon and lime, as well as the salt and pepper to taste. Speaking of taste, don’t forget to taste along the way until you find the balance of richness and brightness that you like)
4. Fold in grapefruit segments (it’s OK if some of them are broken in halves or even thirds)
5. Top with toasted hazelnuts
(Tip: If you’re traveling with the salad, you can pack the grapefruit and hazelnuts separately, and add them in once you’ve arrived to your destination)