This Autumn Blood Orange Kale Salad is a super simple and incredibly delicious fall salad! It’s filled with the best mix of textures and flavors: tuscan kale, honeycrisp apples, blood oranges, toasted hazelnuts, bacon, and a blood orange balsamic vinaigrette!
This kale salad is giving me life this fall! It’s filled with the BEST combo of ingredients, and it’s so simple. I always go a little blood orange crazy through the fall and winter months, and this is the start of it! Last year I made these beergaritas, these palomas, this smoothie, these tacos, and this cake, just to name a few! So there will be lots more blood orange goodness to come this season. Get ready!
When people ask me what blood oranges taste like, I always say they’re like a slightly less citrusy, more “fruit punchy” orange. They really remind me of old school fruit punch, but not as artificial, obviously. They’re insanely delicious and taste amazing in just about everything!
Including this salad.
Plus, they’re pretty much the most stunning thing ever.
Ohhhh my goodness is it good.
We’ve got tuscan/lacinato kale, which I really like because it has a lot of texture to it and shreds into ribbons really beautifully. I prefer it to the regular curly green kale! Then we’ve got diced honeycrisp apples (the best apple to ever exist), toasted hazelnuts (SO underrated – quite possibly my favorite nut after pistachios!), bacon (makes everything better, obviously), and the most delicious blood orange maple balsamic vinaigrette!
This vinaigrette is so insanely good, and just the perfect amount of sweet. I’ll be eating it on all of my salads this fall! It has just the right amount of citrusy blood orange flavor and tastes lovely on any salad. I even ate it on a salad with peppers, sautéed rosemary mushrooms, and blackened salmon and it was amazing. You may want to double the dressing!
Like any kale salad, you’ll want to massage the kale first to help break it down, soften it, and make it more palatable. Sometimes I use olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt, but with this, I just massaged it with a little bit of the dressing because it’s so gosh darn good!
Don’t you just want to dive into that?
You’ve probably noticed there’s no cheese in this! And I actually think it doesn’t need it. It’s amazing on its own, even though I know salads like this almost always have cheese – whether it be goat cheese, feta, or parm!
If you wanted to add some, any of those would be delish in this. I wouldn’t be against adding some avocado either!
This holds up really well if you want to make it for a party too! I’ve even eaten it two days after its been made and it’s still amazing.
Basically, you can’t go wrong with it!
Autumn Blood Orange Kale Salad
This Autumn Blood Orange Kale Salad is a super simple and incredibly delicious fall salad! It's filled with the best mix of textures and flavors: tuscan kale, honeycrisp apples, blood oranges, toasted hazelnuts, bacon, and a blood orange balsamic vinaigrette!
For the blood orange balsamic vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- juice of 1 blood orange
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- small clove garlic
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
For the salad
- 1 bunch tuscan/lacinato kale, de-stemmed and shredded
- 1 honeycrisp apple, diced
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped*
- 2 blood oranges, peeled and sliced
blood orange balsamic vinaigrette
In a food processor or blender, combine the balsamic vinegar, blood orange juice, maple syrup, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth and emulsified. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
Place shredded kale in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of dressing and massage the kale for a minute or so in your hands to help soften it. Add the apples, bacon, and hazelnuts and toss to combine. Portion into bowls and top with sliced blood oranges and drizzle with desired amount of dressing. Serve!
*I found dry roasted hazelnuts at Trader Joe's, but if you can't find them already roasted, you can toast them in a dry skillet for a few minutes until they're fragrant and golden.
*Extra dressing will keep in the fridge for up to one week!
*I didn't think the salad needed cheese, but it would be great with feta, goat cheese, or shaved parm!
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