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Ree Drummond makes a simple kale salad with a refreshing citrus dressing and some easy additions. The whole salad comes together quickly and is perfect for a healthy quick lunch or side dish.

The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond smiles standing a kitchen counter wearing a printed purple shirt on the set of 'Today'
Ree Drummond | Tyler Essary/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Ree Drummond was inspired by a restaurant’s kale salad

Drummond shared the inspiration for the salad in a blog post on The Pioneer Woman website. She recalled a visit to Los Angeles with friends for her cookbook tour at the time and they dined at the hotel restaurant.

“We had more than one delicious meal on our girl’s trip, but ironically, the dish that left the greatest impression on me was a salad from Delphine, the restaurant in the lobby of our hotel,” she wrote. “We wound up eating a late lunch there one day because we were hungry and didn’t feel like walking or taking a cab. It turned out to be a monumental call on our part because it was truly the most delicious salad I’d ever had in my life.”

Drummond continued, “I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since that fateful day in November, so I attempted to recreate it Sunday after church. To my great delight, it was almost as good as the original: So much texture and flavor going on, and gorgeous, crisp kale is the star of the show. If you are a lover of all things kale, this salad will knock your socks off.”

The Food Network host added, “And if you don’t have much experience with kale … well, this is the perfect introduction.”

‘The Pioneer Woman’ star made an easy citrus salad dressing

Drummond demonstrated how to make her kale citrus salad on an episode of The Pioneer Woman. She made the dish as part of a dinner with her sister Betsy.

“It is to die for,” she said of the easy salad. “I knew when Betsy and I were having dinner together this was one of the things I was going to make.”

She started by making the easy dressing. In a mason jar, Drummond shook up orange juice, olive oil, finely minced garlic, salt, pepper, and sugar. Then she added sour cream. “And this is what makes the dressing creamy citrus dressing,” Drummond explained. “I like to add the sour cream after I’ve mixed up the orange juice and olive oil because I don’t want the sour cream to curdle once it hits that orange juice.”

Drummond noted, “One of the best things about this salad is the delicious creamy citrus dressing. It is divine. This is really one of my favorite dressings. I started making it just for regular salads.”


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Drummond assembled the salad

To assemble the salad, Drummond put the kale and sliced jalapenos in a bowl, then tossed in some of the dressing. “I love what the jalapenos do to the salad because you have all this sweetness from the dressing and creaminess from the goat cheese,” she explained. “And then you bite into this little jalapeno slice.”

The Pioneer Woman star added goat cheese and orange pieces and tossed everything together. “You know, the great thing about kale salads — kale is so hearty and it really holds together well so you can toss it well in advance of serving it,” Drummond said.

She added, “I love this salad. It’s so amazing.”

The full recipe is available on the Food Network website.