A Recipe for Christmas – Kale and Pickled Cranberry Salad with Crunchy Quinoa
Christmas time is the perfect opportunity to unite your family members in one place and bring a smile to their faces with great food. I enjoy Christmas time the most because I get to experiment and try out all the fun recipes I’ve been collecting all year.
But what stands out is decorating the table in festive spirits, complete with the fancy silverware and serving bowls, fairy lights, and flowers.
Kale and Pickled Cranberry Salad with Crunchy Quinoa
If you’re in search of a refreshing Christmas side dish to cleanse everyone’s palette – you’ve come to the right place. With all the meat and creamy sides on the plate, you need some fresh greens to cut through the richness of the Christmas food.
This salad packs the perfect punch – crispy, sweet, and sour.
First, you want to prepare the cranberries, all you need are:
½ Cup Apple Cider
½ Cup Sugar
One teaspoon whole cloves
One teaspoon allspice powder
One cinnamon stick
One tablespoon orange peel
1 ½ cup cranberries
Combine vinegar and sugar into a saucepan and slowly reach a boil. Once bubbles form rapidly, add all the spices and orange peel and leave the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes.
Then add the cranberries and leave them to soften or wait until they’re going to start bursting – this usually takes 2-3 minutes. Pour the cranberry mixture into a heatproof jar and let it fully cool before refrigerating.
These cranberries can last up to almost two weeks, but you want to strain out all the spices before using the berries though.
Assembling the Salad
For the actual salad, you can always mix up the veggies and leafy greens according to your taste, but in my personal experience, kale works best.
All you need are:
1 pound kale, roughly chopped
1 Granny Smith apple cubed
2/3 cup roasted pistachios
3 ounces Manchego cheese, finely grated
½ cup Quinoa
½ cup Canola oil
Ground black pepper
¼ cup lemon juice
Two tablespoon honey
One teaspoon Dijon mustard
One teaspoon olive oil
First, prepare the quinoa by boiling two cups of water and adding it to the water. Cook the grain till it’s soft, which usually takes around 12 minutes. Once that’s done, drain the quinoa and line it on a baking sheet, leaving it to dry.
Add canola oil to a frying pan and add the quinoa into the hot oil, tossing it around till it’s golden and crispy. Take the quinoa out of the pan after 2-3 minutes and leave it to the side.
In a separate bowl, add the honey, mustard, and lemon juice, slowly adding in the olive oil little by little. Add in the salt and pepper as a creamy dressing starts to form.
Lastly, to assemble the salad, add the kale, apple, and drizzle the dressing on top. Massage the dressing onto the leaves so the flavor is fully absorbed. Next, top the salad with pickled cranberries, pistachio, cheese, and quinoa.