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Healthy Eating, Quick and Easy, Salads

La Grande Orange Cafe's kale and quinoa salad

La Grande Orange Cafe's kale and quinoa salad
Los Angeles Times

Dear SOS: I recently "rediscovered" La Grande Orange in Pasadena and love its kale and quinoa salad -- it's light and refreshing. I have enjoyed it often enough to know it contains kale, quinoa, red bell pepper, grapes, sunflower seeds ... Read more

Total time: 50 minutes | Serves 2 to 4

Champagne vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced shallots
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon chopped chervil
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Step 1In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, shallots and salt; set aside for 20 minutes to soften the shallot. Slowly drizzle in the oils while whisking to emulsify the vinaigrette. Whisk in the chervil and pepper. This makes a scant one-half cup vinaigrette; the vinaigrette will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 4 days.

Kale and quinoa salad

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • Salt
  • 4 cups loosely packed julienned kale, from 1 large bunch
  • Champagne vinaigrette
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2/3 cup red seedless grapes, halved
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Manchego cheese
  • 10 to 12 strips finely julienned preserved lemon

Step 1Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a simmer. Place the quinoa in a strainer and rinse well, then drain and add to the simmering water. Cook the quinoa until the grains are translucent and tender and the germ has spiraled out from the grain, about 15 minutes (be careful not to overcook). Remove from heat and drain any remaining liquid. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and transfer to a baking sheet to cool. The quinoa can be made ahead of time and stored, covered and refrigerated, up to 3 days before using.

Step 2In a large bowl, place the kale and one-fourth cup of the vinaigrette. Using your hands, massage the vinaigrette into the kale until the kale is softened, 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 3To the bowl, add the cooled quinoa, the sunflower seeds, bell pepper, grapes and Parmigiano Reggiano, tossing to combine.

Step 4Divide the salad among serving plates, evenly sprinkling over the Manchego cheese and garnishing with the preserved lemon strips. Serve immediately.

Note: Adapted from La Grande Orange Cafe in Pasadena. Preserved lemons can be found at select well-stocked grocery stores as well as cooking and gourmet markets.

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