Kale Salad with Orange-Maple Vinaigrette

This was one of those salads where I threw a bunch of stuff together from my refrigerator and magic happened.  I mean it.  Magic.  Because that is the only way to describe how so many different ingredients come together to make such a perfect dish.

The tart kale is tempered by the almost buttery vinaigrette and sweet creamy sweet potatoes.  Roasted brussels sprouts lend a necessary crunch.  Diced turkey gives you a protein fix.  Magic, I tell you.

My Hogwarts letter is probably on its way.

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A quick note for kale.  Most of you are probably super kale-experienced, but for any of my readers who have steered clear from the leafy green for whatever reason, make sure you massage the kale in the vinaigrette long enough.  Again, for kale neophytes, that probably sounds super weird.  But massaging the kale helps the tough leaves break down and make it less like garnish and more like the delicious badass super food it is.  So, massage the crap out of that kale!

Kale Salad with Orange-Maple Vinaigrette

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Ingredients

For the greens

1 bunch of kale, destemmed and torn into bite size pieces

1/4 lb brussels sprouts, cleaned and quartered

Turkey breast or turkey lunch meat, diced (use however much you like, I tend to err on less)

For the sweet potatoes

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes

4 tbsp butter

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tbsp maple syrup

squeeze of fresh orange juice

For the vinaigrette

3 tbsp cup apple cider vinegar

1 tsp grated orange zest

2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

2 tsp dijon mustard

2 tbsp maple syrup

salt/pepper

2/3 cup olive oil

Directions

For the sweet potatoes

Simmer the sweet potatoes until tender.  Drain the water.  In a sauce pan over medium heat, combine the butter, maple syrup, and brown sugar.  Add the sweet potatoes and toss to combine.  Remove from heat.

For the brussels sprouts

Use the roasting instructions in my pan-seared brussels sprouts with bacon.

For the vinaigrette

Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, orange zest, orange juice, and maple syrup.  Slowly pour the olive oil in, mixing continuously.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the salad

Massage the kale with the vinaigrette for a few minutes, until the kale has broken down a bit.  Add the rest of the ingredients and toss!

Note:  Other really delicious mix-ins here would be dried cranberries, chopped apples, chopped pears, toasted nuts, quinoa, or farro.  Don’t be afraid to use your imagination!

Source:  Vinaigrette from Ina Garten.

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