I’m so excited that new baby kale is available once again and I can enjoy Baby Kale Salad with Pistachios and Dried Apricots. I was able to get local kale quite regularly throughout the winter, but it was the large curly kale. Winter kale is extra delicious because it gets sweeter when it is kissed by the frost, although the last couple of winter batches I got in March were clearly at the end of their possible consumption. The outer edges of the leaves were a bit yellow, which meant the kale was somewhat bitter. Kale Salad with Roasted Beets, Fennel and Red Onion was the last kale salad I made with curly kale.
What’s the difference between baby kale and curly kale?
Baby kale has a milder taste than regular curly kale and is quite tender. That means it doesn’t have to be massaged before being used in a salad. For a more detailed explanation of more varieties of kale, and a flavourful and filling complete meal salad check out Lentil, Squash and Kale Salad with Thyme, Cranberries and White Balsamic Dressing.
While kale is the foundation of this tasty salad it’s really hard to decide the star. Actually, I think the sign of a wonderful salad is when the flavours blend together, each one enhancing the others. The ingredients in this Baby Kale Salad with Pistachios and Dried Apricots definitely make for a winning combination.
I suggest you wash your kale and remove any tough stems as soon as you bring it home, so it is ready to go when it comes time to make this salad. The salad can be prepared ahead of time except for the avocado, which should be added just before serving to prevent the browning that occurs when avocado is exposed to air.
Just one serving of this Baby Kale with Pistachios and Dried Apricots Salad will provide you with more than 100% of the recommended daily intake of three key nutrients, vitamin K, vitamin A and vitamin C. Kale is also rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients and glucosinolates, the anti-cancer compounds which are also responsible for the bitterness and strong aroma in greens like kale, Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
Pistachios contain higher levels of potassium, phytosterols, vitamin K, g-tocopherol, and lutein than any other nuts and been demonstrated to promote healthy blood lipids and reduce cardiovascular disease, making them a nutrient dense addition to the salad.
When purchasing dried apricots, look for those that are unsulfured, and don’t be alarmed by the fact that they are brown. Sulfur dioxide is a preservative that functions to prevent browning and maintains the fruit’s bright color when it is dried. For anyone with asthma or a sulfur sensitivity, eating dried fruits with sulfur dioxide can cause serious health issues. The natural color of dried apricots is a rich dark brown.
Salad ingredient combinations
I love the combination of pistachios and dried apricots but, just like most salads, this kale salad is versatile and forgiving. Try:
- mango chunks or pomegranates instead of orange
- raisins or cranberries instead of dried apricots
- walnuts, pecans or sunflower seeds instead of pistachios
- adding a bit of goat’s chevre, for those who are not on a complete plant diet
Baby Kale Salad with Pistachios and Dried Apricots
- 8 cups baby kale
- ½ cup dried apricots
- ½ cup cup pistachios
- 1 orange
- 1 avocado
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar may substitute with dark balsamic or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tsp poppy seeds
- Wash and dry the baby kale, removing any tough stems. Place kale into bowl.
- Cut dried apricots into bite sized pieces.
- Peel orange and separate into segments. Cut each segment into two or three pieces.
- Peel avocado and cut into bite-sized chunks.
- Add apricots, pistachios, oranges and avocado chunks to the salad.
- Mix all dressing ingredients together in a glass jar and shake to emulsify. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Serve and enjoy!