This kale and radicchio salad is a wonderful spring or summer time dish. Topped with a tangy grapefruit and tahini dressing, this nutrient packed salad is perfect to serve alongside other veggies or to eat on its own as a light meal.
After turning 50, my mom has started saying, “after 50 years old, one must focus on eating more bitter and sour things, no more sugar.” Her rationale behind this thought is that as you get older, your body burns fat less efficiently and therefore, you should try and reduce the amount of sugar you consume (since sugar that is not burned for energy is transformed into fat) and replace it with bitter and acidic foods.
I do not believe that you should apply this logic only as you older, but rather throughout life. I believe that we should strive to form healthy habits as early as possible. What that means is: focusing on eating as much different veggies as possible while limiting sugar consumption to natural, unrefined sources such as fruits and dried fruits.
As you know, I do not avoid sugar all together, even the refined kind. I too enjoy maple syrup in baked goods and granolas. I also like to treat myself to vegan cupcakes and pastries from local cafes, although I know those are made with processed sugar. I just tend to minimize those events to a few times a week (1-3 times, depending on whether or not I have special events planned).
Coming back to this salad, not only is it SUGAR FREE (aka, no sugar whatsoever in the dressing!), but it also has lovely bitter and sour notes, while being packed with different textures and flavours.
I love the fact that:
You get a little bit of bitterness from the radicchio,
Some chewiness from the kale,
A few elements of crunch from the radishes and the pumpkin seeds,
A lovely creaminess from the tahini-based dressing,
And a beautiful sweetness from the orange segments and the grapefruit.
A FEW NOTES ON THIS RECIPE
One thing to note about this recipe is that if you are not used to eating bitter foods, I would decrease the amount of radicchio by half. This will allow you to still get that bitter element of the salad that I personally love, while also getting your taste buds accustomed to this new flavour profile.
Another thing, make sure to use a grapefruit that is very sweet. That is why I recommend red grapefruit over pink or white. Taste a little piece of it, if it is sweet enough for you to eat it as is, use it in this recipe. If not, simply replace the grapefruit juice with orange juice.
Last little tip: make sure you MASSAGE YOUR KALE! I cannot stress this enough. For the longest time, I would eat kale as is, with dressing poured on top and I never understood why people were raving about how tasty kale was. Until... I massaged it. It was an absolute game changer. Gone are the days of eating grass-tasting kale!
I hope you guys give this salad recipe a go and if you do, make sure to leave a comment below and let me know how you find it! Also, feel free to share this recipe or your creations on Instagram by tagging me (@muriellebanackissa).
Kale & Radicchio with Tangy Grapefruit Dressing
Prep time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : -
Total time : 10 minutes
Yield : 1 main or 3 side dishes
5 curly kale stalks, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
5 radishes, sliced thinly
8 radicchio leaves, torn
2 oranges, peeled, white pith removed and segmented
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup freshly squeezed red grapefruit juice
2 tbsp runny tahini
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp grapefruit zest
1 garlic clove, grated using a microplane grater
Pepper, to taste
To a large bowl, add kale leaves.
In a separate small bowl, add all dressing ingredients.
Mix together until smooth. Add a teaspoon of water to thin it if too thick.
Pour on kale and massage until the kale leaves are soft.
Add radicchio, radishes, orange segments, sesame and pumpkin seeds. Enjoy immediately.