This salad, with all its exotic nuances, is entirely refreshing to the palate. The baby kale has a wonderful texture that stands up to the bold cayenne-spiked vinaigrette. The carrots have a bit of crunch too -- but also a lovely sweetness to them. The kumquats, on the other hand, are deliciously zesty, while the sesame seeds are delicately nutty, as well as visually appealing.
Here's a salad that's equally as enchanting to the taste buds as it is to the eyes!
Baby Kale Salad with Purple Carrot Ribbons, Kumquats and Sesame Vinaigrette
Active time: 20 min
For the vinaigrette
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon low sodium Tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons almond or grapeseed oil
1/2 teaspoon organic sugar
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
For the salad
3 medium purple carrots (or regular carrots) - peeled
5 oz (140 g) baby kale - rinsed and spun dry (see cook's note)
10 kumquats - halved lengthwise (or 1 orange, peeled to the flesh, halved and cut crosswise in 1/4" slices)
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds (or regular sesame seeds) - toasted (see cook's note)
Step 1: To make the vinaigrette - Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a small food processor and process until well blended, about 30 seconds. Set aside.
Step 2: Slice the carrots lengthwise with a vegetable hand peeler to form ribbons. Set aside. Place the kale in a large bowl and drizzle with two thirds of the vinaigrette. Toss until well coated. Divide the kale amongst four plates or salad bowls. Dot with the kumquats. Top each salad with a small mound of the carrot ribbons. Drizzle with the balance of the vinaigrette and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
Cook's note 1: If you can't find baby kale, you can use regular kale for this salad. Tear the leaves in 3" pieces and discard the tough stems. Baby spinach, arugula or tatsoi are good substitutes.
Cook's note 2: To toast the sesame seeds - Heat a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the seeds and cook for 3 minutes until fragrant, tossing frequently and taking care not to burn them. If cooking with regular sesame seeds, cook until the seeds are golden.