A vegan kale fennel salad with oranges, almonds, and a simple shallot vinaigrette. Bookmark this for your next dinner party.
If you need a side salad in your life that’s packed with flavor, has a variety of textures, and looks fancy but doesn’t require too much work – i.e. something to replace those sad, sad mesclun greens that have graced way too many plates for way too long – this kale fennel salad is for you.
This crunchy, colorful dish works for almost any occasion: from Sunday brunch, to Thanksgiving dinner, to a regular Tuesday night. Earthy kale and fennel contrast perfectly with sweet, juicy oranges, and everything is brought together by a simple shallot vinaigrette that’s way better than whatever you can buy at the store. Let’s dive in!
What’s In This Kale Fennel Salad
The bulk of this salad consists of massaged curly kale, thinly sliced fennel, and grated carrots. Fresh orange slices lend color and sweetness, and toasted almonds add crunch. This shallot dressing has the standard cast of characters you’d expect in a vinaigrette: vinegar, olive oil, mustard, maple syrup/honey, and salt and pepper.
A Few Words on Massaging Vegetables
Whereas some greens are perfectly fine to eat as it (romaine, arugula, iceberg), kale is not one of them. When raw, kale is tough, fibrous, and hard to chew (same goes for fennel). Massaging these vegetables with your hands softens them, mellows their flavor, and makes them easier and tastier to eat. (P.S. Cabbage is another veg that loves a good massage!)
Kale Fennel Salad: Step-by-Step
Make the Dressing: Place the oil, vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and diced shallot in a bowl, and whisk to combine. (These sauce whisks are the best, btw!) Set the dressing aside while you chop the veg; letting the raw shallot hang out in vinegar mellows out its onion-y flavor.
Prep the Veg: Rinse each kale leaf individually under running water. Then pat dry with a kitchen towel. Pull the leaves off the stems and discard stems. Tear the greens into bite size pieces, then roughly chop into even smaller pieces. Next, thinly slice the fennel and combine the two in the largest bowl you have.
Massage the Veg: Pour most of the vinaigrette on the prepped veg and massage with your hands until they’re soft and juicy, and the kale is bright green. Then toss in the carrots.
Serve: Transfer the veg to a serving platter and top with the oranges, almonds, and remaining vinaigrette. (Or you can just mix them in – totally up to you.)
More festive ideas…
- Mexican-ish Black Bean Dip
- Carrot Fritters with Lemon Tahini
- The Ultimate Holiday Snack Board
- Vegan Potato Gratin
Let me know if you try this recipe! Give it a rating below and leave a comment, and don’t forget to tag your creation with @thenewbaguette on Instagram.Print
A vegan kale fennel salad with oranges, almonds, and a simple shallot vinaigrette. Bookmark it for your next dinner party!
For the Dressing
- 1 small shallot or 1/2 large, finely diced* (see note below)
- 2 tablespoons mild vinegar (like red wine or apple cider)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon or brown mustard
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- A few grinds of black pepper
For the Veg
- 1 small bunch curly kale (about 6 medium leaves), stemmed and chopped into small bits
- 1 small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced*
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated (1 cup)
- 1 orange, peeled and cut into bite-size bits
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
- In a large bowl, combine kale and fennel, and drizzle with 3/4 of the dressing. Massage with your hands until the kale is soft, juicy, and bright green, about 2 minutes. Then toss in the carrots.
- Transfer veg to a serving platter, scatter the oranges on top, and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Top with almonds.
- You can sub the shallot with a few tablespoons of diced red onion.
- If you don’t like fennel, use radishes.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
- Calories: 157
- Fat: 9.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 16.5 g
- Fiber: 6.1 g
- Protein: 5.8 g
Keywords: kale, fennel, orange, salad