Most vegetable seasons come and go in the blink of an eye. Tomatoes and corn stick around for just a few precious months in the late summer. Asparagus is even shorter. Ramps? They only ever seem to be available for two trips to the farmers market, three max. But kale will never desert you.
And that’s great news, because this dark green packs major doses of vitamins, iron, calcium, and plenty of fiber. It’s great braised or sautéed, but we particularly love a good kale salad. Raw kale plays really well with all sorts of other produce, so it can transition from season to season with ease. Here, we’ve found some of the best recipes out there spanning from January all the way through December to help you get the most out of your greens.
1. Fruit isn’t exactly abundant during the winter, but don’t forget about persimmons. This roasted persimmon, burrata, and kale salad from MyHabit’s theFIX, created by Spoon Fork Bacon, is a great way to use this forgotten fruit in a hearty salad. Roasting intensifies the persimmon’s sweetness, and creamy burrata on top keeps this from feeling like health food. A sprinkle of toasted almonds on top completes this delicious dish.
2. When winter has you feeling down, this kale citrus salad from The Pioneer Woman is just the thing to brighten the day. Make an easy vinaigrette right in a jar by shaking together some orange juice, olive oil, and a little bit of sour cream. Studded with jalapeños and tangerines, this salad is sweet, spicy, and a little bit tart. For some extra oomph, leave the seeds in the jalapeño.
3. For those who don’t like an overly sweet side dish, Sage Recipes’ raw kale and grapefruit salad makes a perfect addition to a winter meal. With just 6 ingredients, this dish comes together in no time. If you’re new to massaging kale, it’s easier than it sounds. Add oil to the greens and scrunch them with your fingers for a few minutes to help tenderize the leaves. As an added benefit, the olive oil will help moisturize your hands during winter’s harsh weather.
4. Give tired beet starters a makeover with this roasted beet and kale salad with maple candied walnuts from The Endless Meal. Unlike most other greens that seem to sag under the heft of beets, kale stays firm without being tough. With a sprinkle of salty cheese and the crunch of candied nuts, this is about as addictive as salad can get.