This kale salad recipe is the perfect for summer. It's topped with toasted pecans, mandarin oranges and dried cranberries in a orange maple dijon vinaigrette.

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Kale Salad With Orange Maple Dijon VinaigretteKale Salad With Orange Maple Dijon Vinaigrette Recipe

Who loves a good summer salad? If you raised your hand, I have the perfect recipe for you. This kale salad with orange maple dijon vinaigrette is my go to for light lunch or dinner. 

What You'll Need For This Recipe?

  • Kale (curly, dinosaur oravolo, nero, lacinato, or tuscan)
  • Pecans or Walnuts
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Dried Cranberries or Apricots
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Olive Oil
  • Maple Syrup
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Orange Zest
  • Orange Juice

Kale Salad With Orange Maple Dijon Vinaigrette Recipe   Kale Salad With Orange Maple Dijon Vinaigrette Recipe

How To Prepare Kale for A Salad
The best kale salad recipe starts off with massaging the kale. I know that sounds weird but it's a really important step. Massaging the kale softens the leaves so they aren't so tough and also makes them less bitter.

To massage kale, simply remove the stems and place the leaves in a strainer. Gently massage the leaves in bowl of water till they become a vibrant green and begin to slightly wilt. The kale will further breakdown as it sits in the dressing. 

Make it Paleo ot Keto
Another great thing about this kale salad recipe, it's adaptable for a paleo and keto diet. Canned mandarins oranges and dried cranberries typically have added sugars. Avoid these all together by use fresh mandarin oranges instead and replace the dried cranberries with dried apricots. Make the dressing keto friendly by replace the maple syrup with a sugar-free version like Lakanto Maple Syrup

How To Make Orange Maple Dijon Vinaigrette
The best vinaigrette starts with using the best ingredients. Use the best extra virgin olive oil, maple syrup, dijon mustard you can afford. I really love Maille Dijon Mustard. It's smooth and creamy and works great in salad dressings. 
To make ahead, mix vinaigrette ingredients and store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

Kale Salad With Orange Maple Dijon Vinaigrette Recipe

Tips On How To Make This Recipe:
  • Massage the kale for a more tender and less bitter salad.
  • Make it Paleo: Use fresh mandarin oranges and replace dried cranberries with dried apricots.
  • Make it Keto: For a Keto version of the dressing, replace the maple syrup with a sugar free syrup like Lakanto Maple Syrup.