Sweet, earthy, fruity, tart and crunchy: this baby kale salad with red beets, grapefruit, and apples has perfect flavor and texture balance.
The days still feel sunny and warm here in the Southeast but the nights are chilly and I pulled out my blankie weeks ago. The summer is officially over and ordinary lettuce doesn’t cut it anymore. With dropping temperatures a salad has to offer me more than just a “healthy” label. Lately, I am really loving baby kale, the tenderness and the flavor make it very tasty and also versatile and I can see kale salad happening more often.
baby kale salad with red beets, grapefruit, and apples
I added roasted red beets for the color and because they are so sweet and earthy. Also, they can handle the grapefruit with its bitter citrus and the tart apple slices. All comes together with a tangy honey dressing, dried cranberries, and roasted hazelnuts for some crunch.
- 140 g / 5 oz. baby kale
- 4 small to medium red beets
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 small tart apples like Granny Smith
- 2 pink grapefruits
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 80 ml / ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small handful hazelnuts
- 80 g / ½ cup dried cranberries
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 205 C / 400 F. Cover the beets with oil and wrap them individually in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes. Pierce with a knife to check if cooked through. Remove from the oven, let cool, and then peel and slice into approximately ½ cm / ¼ -inch thick slices. This can be done one day ahead.
- Prepare a bowl with ½ liter / 2 cups of cold water and 1½ teaspoons salt and stir to dissolve. Quarter, core, and thinly slice the apples and add them to the salty water bowl to prevent them from getting brown. Let sit for at least 15 minutes and then strain and set aside.
- Peel the grapefruits with a sharp knife. Fillet the wedges over a bowl to catch the juice. Put the grapefruits slices aside and squeeze the juice out of the remaining grapefruits, save the juice for the dressing.
- Roast the hazelnuts in a wide, heavy-bottomed pan. Remove from the heat and let cool. Give the hazelnuts a rough chop and set aside.
- For the dressing whisk together the honey, reserved grapefruit juice, and vinegar. Slowly add olive oil and whisk in.
- To build the salad: Divide the baby kale among four plates, top with red beet and apple slices and grapefruit fillets, sprinkle with hazelnuts and cranberries and drizzle with the salad dressing. Add salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.