Blood Orange Kale Salad with Almonds

Blood Orange Kale Salad with Almonds | The Full Helping

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but my salads have been kind of boring lately. Usually, salad is my forte. It’s the culinary zone in which my creativity and passion shines the most. But since most of my salads have gotten briskly packed up in my lunchbox lately, and eaten in a library carrel, it’s been hard to focus on making them memorable.

When I saw my friend Ashley’s blood orange kale salad with quinoa, however, I was inspired to create something with blood oranges and kale. Ultimately, my dish resembled hers closely, with the omission of quinoa because I was out of it (the horror). Not to fear: the salad was still delicious, bright, and incredibly beautiful.

Blood oranges, the star ingredient in this salad, are of course very high in Vitamin C. Unlike other citrus fruits, blood oranges contain anthocyanin, an antioxidant compound that is also responsible for the scarlet color in beets. It gives them their characteristic hue, which is so beautiful in dishes of all kinds. This is the season for blood oranges—they’re typically grown and harvested between December and March—so it’s worth picking some up if you see them at your market. I’m now in love with the simple vinaigrette I made for this salad, in which I used a whole, juiced blood orange!

Blood Orange Kale Salad with Almonds | The Full Helping

Blood Orange Kale Salad with Almonds (Inspired by Edible Perspective)
Recipe Type: Salads
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, soy free
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2 large or 4 small servings
  • 1 small bunch (about 8-10 leaves, stems removed) curly kale
  • 3 blood oranges
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup toasted, sliced or slivered almonds
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
  1. De-stem the kale and tear it into bite sized pieces. Wash and dry the kale and set it aside. Remove the skins and pith from the oranges. Cut two of them into segments and set the third aside for the dressing.
  2. Juice the orange you’ve set aside (you can use a citrus juicer, or just squeeze it through a sieve into a small bowl). Whisk together the blood orange juice, olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, and salt and pepper. Stir in the shallots.
  3. Place the kale in a large mixing bowl. Add the dressing and use your hands to “massage” the dressing into the kale. You can use as much as you like; I like a very well-dressed kale salad!
  4. Add the sectioned oranges and almonds and pepper to the salad. Mix everything well and serve.

Blood Orange Kale Salad with Almonds | The Full Helping

I’d recommend serving this salad with a winter grain pilaf and some grilled tofu. It’s also great with a simple lunch sandwich or wrap.And that’s it for today. I continue to get a lot of thoughtful comments on my Marie Claire “Vegan Myth” post, so thank you for those.


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Categories: Salads, Side Dishes
Ingredients: Kale
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, Soy Free, Vegan
Recipe Features: 30 Minute or Less

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  1. Sweet baby Jesus this is the tastiest salad I’ve ever eaten. I used to either steam my kale or eat it raw with some lemon. For obvious reasons, I felt like I wasn’t eating enough greens so I decided to try this salad. The dressing is amazing and masks the bitterness of the kale well. The almonds add color and texture and the blood oranges… they just add everything — color, texture, flavor. Plus it was quick and easy to make. This is my new favorite salad! I will definitely be able to eat more than enough greens now!

    • Note: I followed the recipe exactly except that I forgot to add the red peppers. I will probably leave them out now and in the future because I’m generally not a huge fan of the flavor of raw red peppers.

  2. This looks delicious! My family and I love salads but have become tired of the same-old-thing. This sounds wonderful! I will probably substitute the kale for the superfood radicchio as it is full of antioxidants, dietary fiber as well as vitamins and minerals, but will leave everything else in the recipe the same.

    Thanks again for sharing!

  3. For Alanna, I suggest trying Fennel bulb which goes very well with orange! It’s one of my fav veg

  4. Your salad looks beautiful, Gena. I think I’d choose to swap in something else for the red pepper — I don’t like the combination of peppers and citrus together — but I like the idea of the other base ingredients in this salad. I can see myself adding avocado, quinoa, and perhaps some pumpkin or sunflower seeds. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  5. As simple as it sounds, one of my favorite things about some of your recipes is your amazing ability to pair fruit and nuts. Not sure if it’s something you put thought in to, or just utilizing what you have, but it’s always so mouth-watering!

  6. Luckily, I have a who bunch of blood oranges and kale stocked up right now. I’ve been adding maple syrup to a lot of dressings lately, too, so this is just perfect! So bright and fresh! Thanks for another great recipe, Gena!

  7. I love salads especially if they contain both vegetables and fruits. Actually the more ingredients, the better. Thank you for a great recipe of the salad with blood orange fruit. Looks amazing.

  8. Awesome salad, Gena! I substituted roasted pistachios for the almonds and added some quinoa, chickpeas, and raisins, too. I served it with a creamy, curried sweet potato and green apple soup that I came up with on the spot, and the two dishes made a fantastic lunch!

    Also, I must say something about anthocyanins that I think you may find interesting. They can be used to create electricity! I actually won my school science fair, placed in the regional science fair, and am competing in the state science fair next week for my project, which was about how anthocyanin concentration affects the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells. I tested multiple types of berries, another food rich in anthocyanins, to see which one produced the most efficient cell, and it turned out that blackberries, the berry with the highest anthocyanin concentration in my test group, were the best. It was a really fun project because I got to combine my interest in nutrition (i.e. the stuff about anthocyanins) with engineering, energy, and environmental sciences, which are all relevant today and involve some sort of problem and solution (kind of like making a recipe). Hope I didn’t bore you with this long comment!

  9. Oh, gosh…I’ve been coveting that twin oaks brand tofu forever, but alas, it is nowhere to be found in the Chicago area.

    I’m generally not a big fan of citrus in my salads, but blood oranges sure do add a lovely aesthetic touch and I bet they taste really refreshing on a bed of greens.

      • Just use your intuition, Sabrina! I like my kale to be softened, but still have some shape and crunch. When everything is totally coated in dressing–every nook and cranny–that’s usually a good sign that it’s done.

  10. Looks delicious to me, Gena. Simple does not have to be bland. I just made a wicked skillet with 5 ingredients: coconut oil, chickpeas, baby bok choy, balsamic vinegar and miso. 15 minutes to the table, to boot. 🙂

  11. I always like to see/hear about the blogs that others follow! Ashley’s blog is definitely one of my favorites, too. I made a version of her blood orange salad a few weeks ago, and enjoyed leftovers for lunch all week long. I can’t wait to try your version (especially the dressing!).

    Twin Oaks tofu is the best! I am lucky to live close to their farm, and I look forward to visiting their table each week when the Charlottesville City Market is in session. They are incredibly nice, and often suggest a recipe to try out. They offer farm tours, too, which I hope to do someday soon.