Thursday, October 23, 2014

Makin' It At Home: Citrusy Kale-Quinoa Salad

This dish was inspired by a salad that my friend Chuck picked up at the deli for a party at his house.  I ended up eating a large portion of the salad (um, most of the container) and was determined to make my own since I enjoyed it so much.  At the party I snapped a photo of the ingredients list on the package so I could copy it, but of course now I can't find that photo.  Whatever, no biggie.  It was tasty, that's what really matters.  I love the crunchy nuts, the puckery citrus dressing, the earthy quinoa, the sweet fruit, savory onions, and tangy feta.  It all comes together in a great salad.

When I got home I did some searching online and found this recipe from The Kitchn that seemed really close, so I copied it and modified it to match the salad we had. So this recipe is for Chuck because he likes the salad too, and wouldn't it be nice to make it at home for less money?  Plus it's a flexible recipe, using what you might have on hand. 

This recipe comes together in four separate parts -- the onion, the quinoa, the kale & other stuff, plus the dressing. I made this two times, the first time I had walnuts and feta, the second time the feta was all gone so I added some additional lemon juice. Feel free to make it that way if you want a dairy-free/vegan version. 


The Kitchn kale quinoa salad with citrus dressing



  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
In a medium skillet saute the onion for 20 minutes on medium heat.
beautiful caramelized onions.


  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried lemon peel (totally optional, I only added it because I had it)
In a small pot bring all of the ingredients to a boil, turn the head down to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes. Once 15 minutes is up, turn the heat off and let it sit 5 minutes to finish absorbing the liquid.
quinoa on to boil.

Kale & other stuff 

  • 1 bunch kale, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (I used raisins because that's what I had, but the original dish had craisins)
  • 1/2 cup nuts, chopped and toasted in dry skillet (I used walnuts the first time and sliced almonds the second)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta (optional if you want it vegan/dairy-free, but then add another 1-2 Tablespoons lemon juice for tanginess)
To prep the kale, remove the leaves from the stems and toss the stems if they're really tough. Then roll the leaves up the long way and cut them into fine ribbons.
Final salad with the walnuts and feta. 


  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper
In a large bowl mix the first three ingredients together and taste for salt & pepper. Then as the rest of the ingredients are ready, add them to the bowl as well. 
Final salad with sliced almonds and no feta.


I preferred the version with feta, but the version without it was fine too.

Wanna Chat?

I turned off the 'leave a comment' feature, so if you want to share what you're thinking about this or anything else, drop me an email at jhk1013 (at) It's so much more cozy than a comment, plus we can have a real conversation!