A Light and Healthy Winter Kale Salad We Love
Stumbling on a great new lunch place is like finding $20 in your pocket, or your dream pair of shoes on sale in your size: It’s totally unexpected and an instant pick-me-up. We recently visited a new fast-casual restaurant, Picnic LA, in downtown Culver City, and it has quickly become a favorite midday destination. The restaurant’s menu revolves around Southern California’s “micro-seasons,” meaning that ingredients are constantly changing and reflecting the freshest flavors at the height of their peak. Dishes like farro and roasted Brussels sprouts, olive oil–poached sushi-grade salmon, and irresistible key lime pie bars have quickly become staples of our diet, along with one of our all-time favorites: this winter kale salad.
Using the most seasonal produce, this easy salad makes a bright and fulfilling lunch or light dinner. Picnic LA uses an unusual ingredient—pomegranate molasses—with a sweet and salty flavor that really takes this to the next level; look for it at your local Middle Eastern grocery store. The salad also takes advantage of another great seasonal fruit: kumquats. They add a bit of tartness, which is beautifully complemented by the creaminess of ricotta salata. Read on for the recipe—we guarantee it’ll become your go-to in no time.
NOTE: Serves 4
2 bunches black kale
1 cup kumquats
1/4 cup pistachios
1 cup ricotta salata
1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Kosher salt, to taste
Directions for Vinaigrette
Mix together the pomegranate molasses, honey, lemon juice, olive oil, water, black pepper, and salt. Adjust to taste with salt.
Directions for Salad
Wash and chop the kale into thin strips. Toast the pistachios in a 325°F oven for 20 minutes until golden. Cut the kumquats into quarters. Crumble the ricotta salata into bite-size pieces. Toss vinaigrette and all ingredients, except the ricotta, together in mixing bowl. Once well mixed and shiny, place into a bowl, and top with the ricotta.
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