Winter Salad: Purple kale, pomegranate, pears + kumquats

Some of my favorite seasonal ingredients were thrown into this salad. I picked up most of the produce from the farmers market this past Saturday and decided to toss it all together with a maple-sweetened dressing. Matchstick pears, pomegranate seeds, kumquats and purple kale. The directions below are a bit estimated, as I am not good at remembering to measure as I cook, but you really cannot go wrong with this salad so feel free to experiment.  I threw this together on a pizza night (made with a sweet honey whole wheat curst and caramelized veggies, of course). It was a great combo. : )

Kumquats: Sweet and tangy, kumquats are mainly seen in the winter and spring months. They taste and look like a citrus fruit, but can be eaten whole with the peel! The peel is rich in many essential oils, anti-oxidants and fiber. Of course this citrus that resembles a tiny orange fruit is high in vitamin C, A and E and are a modest source of minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and zinc. I love eating them whole as a snack or slicing them thin, tossing them in good olive oil, and adding them to a salad like this one.

Winter Salad: Purple kale, pomegranate, pears + kumquats

{Serves about 2}

Ingredients

Handful of mixed lettuces

1/4 bunch purple kale, stem removed and thinly sliced

1/4 ripe pear, like bosc or comice, sliced into thin matchsticks

Handful of fresh pomegranate seeds

Handful kumquats, thinly sliced

Handful pumpkin seeds, toasted

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Splash apple cider vinegar

Extra-virgin olive oil

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

To make the dressing, mix together the mustard, syrup and vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk in enough extra-virgin olive oil slowly until the mixutre becomes emulsified. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Set aside.

Slice the kumquats thinly and toss with good olive oil in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a large salad bowl, toss the first five ingredients together with the dressing. Serve onto salad plates and top with pumpkin seeds and an optional pinch of Maldon sea salt flakes.

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