the taste space

Raw Citrus Kale Salad

Posted in Appetizers, Salads by janet @ the taste space on June 7, 2012

When I visited San Antonio last year, I discovered Greens, a gem of a restaurant and a haven for vegetarians on the outskirts of downtown. Eager to side-skirt the meat- and cheese-heavy Texan cuisine, a few friends and I checked it out together. All of the dishes we ate that night were great – fresh and vibrant. They really know how to make a mean sauce!

I still remember when my friends tried the kale salad. It was their first time eating a raw kale salad and they enjoyed it. Simple and sweet, yet slightly spicy, but not overpowering. We tried to guess what was in it, pinpointing the flavours.. soy sauce? citrus? chili flakes? While there was no specific recipe (they make it to taste every day), thankfully our server told us exactly what was in it: soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper flakes and brown sugar. I could have sworn there was orange juice, but regardless, I was eager to try my hand at this once I returned home, with or without the citrus!

As I flipped through Color Me Vegan, I bookmarked the raw kale salad with orange, grapefruit and lime, and I remembered the salad from San Antonio. I figured this would be a good recipe to try to recreate it. I wasn’t sure about including grapefruit, so I omitted it entirely.  Being familiar with the massaging technique for raw kale salads, I also opted to wilt my kale with the citrus dressing. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the citrus kick from both the orange and lime juices. It paired well with the kale, and the addition of onion and pine nuts made this even better than the raw kale salad at Greens! I prefer my salads to be on the less sweet side, so feel free to add more agave, to taste, depending on the sweetness of your oranges.

I’ve said it before, but raw kale salads are perfect for gatherings: no worrying about anything spoiling in the sun and wilted kale salads can easily be made in advance since they are supposed to wilt! Enjoy!

Other kale salads I have enjoyed:

Raw Kale and Beet Salad with Raisins and Almonds

Creamy Raw Kale Salad with Avocado, Apple and Beet

Almost Raw Asian Kale and Edamame Salad


This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to this week’s Weekend Wellness, to this month’s Bookmarked Recipes, to Cookbooks Sundays and to this week’s Summer Salad Sundays.

Raw Citrus Kale Salad
Adapted from Color Me Vegan

Zest from one orange
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
Juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon vinegar (apple cider, balsamic, or rice)
1-2 tablespoons agave nectar (or other liquid sweetener)
1/8 teaspoon Aleppo chili flakes (or 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced)

1 bunch kale, leaves stripped from rib and finely chopped (I had 300g prior to removing the stems; lacinato kale is great if you can find it!)
3 oranges, peeled with membranes removed and separated into wedges
1 small red onion, thinly sliced, and soaked in water for at least 10-20 minutes
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

1. Mix together the orange zest, orange juice, lime juice, vinegar, agave nectar and chili flakes. Add to kale and massage for 5 minutes, until it wilts.

2. Add oranges and red onion to kale.

3. When ready to serve, top with pine nuts.

Serves 4.

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9 Responses

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  1. Becca's Green Kitchen said, on June 7, 2012 at 6:07 PM

    This is lovely! So fresh and healthy. Thanks for sharing! I’m glad I stumbled across this on here. Your blog is great. :)

  2. Joanne said, on June 8, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    I never really thought I’d be a fan of kale salads but I surprisingly adore them. To no end. And I’m always on the look for new ones to fuel my obession! Love the sound of this!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on June 8, 2012 at 4:39 PM

      I had no doubt you would love kale salads, Joanne! The secret to good kale salads are the massages…. and the dino kale. ;)

  3. Kahakai Kitchen said, on June 10, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    I love kale salads and this one with the citrus and pine nuts look particularly good. Thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays this week. ;-)

  4. Debbie Plaistowe said, on June 14, 2012 at 12:48 AM

    I really like the citrus with the kale, it sounds really good! I love to try making something like this, so I’ve Pinned it so I don’t forget! Thanks for sharing this with Summer Salad Sundays, look forward to seeing you again soon.

  5. Couscous & Consciousness said, on June 14, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    Gorgeous. I bought kale at my local market the other day – very plentiful here right now – but I’ve never actually used it before so wasn’t altogether sure what to do with it. I will definitely be making this … tomorrow. I love pink grapefruit, so I think I will definitely try including them.

    Thanks for sharing this at Cookbook Sundays xo

  6. [...] sunflower seeds. I massaged some of the dressing directly with the collards (like I do for my raw kale salads) and then drizzled more dressing for the rest of the veggies. As you can see, the collard [...]

  7. […] kale, I let the heat of the noodles wilt them. Easy, peasy. Because as much as I love raw kale salads, I usually am able to trick convince others into doing the massaging. I hate getting my […]

  8. […] Bring on the kale salads !! […]


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