Holiday Table sensations: Florida Citrus Kale Salad

Balance out those weak moments of holiday indulgence with a Florida Citrus Kale Salad.

With the arrival of the holidays, Sarasota County farmers are actively harvesting fresh ingredients to help us plan our meals. Vegetables, greens, squash and citrus are being delivered daily to local farm stands and farmers markets. Beyond the farmers markets, citrus can be sourced locally at Brown’s Grove and Nokomis Groves.

Healthy alternatives to balance out those weak moments of holiday indulgence are plentiful. Here’s a fresh salad ideal for the holidays that combines some healthier alternatives to a typical bowl of lettuce.



Florida’s Citrus Kale Salad is a perfect choice for both your body and your taste buds. You’ll likely fall in love with the flavorful dish of Florida oranges and grapefruit tossed with nutritional kale. Kale is an amazingly versatile green vegetable and loaded with vitamins. Heartier than lettuce, the combination of its taste and nutritional benefits will get you hooked. Combining savory kale with sweet citrus strikes a balance and creates an ideal dish without the guilt.




3 Florida oranges (use 1 for juicing)
1 Florida grapefruit
A bunch of Florida kale (or 5 ounces) - you can buy it in the produce section, fresh or bagged
1/4 cup of thinly sliced red onion (about 1/4 of a big red onion)
3 ounces of goat cheese crumbled, or you can use crumbled feta cheese
½ cup of roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

Salad Dressing Ingredients

3 Tablespoons of fresh Florida orange juice (1/2-3/4 squeezed from an orange)
2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 ½ Teaspoons of Dijon mustard
1/2 Teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 Teaspoons honey (preferably local)




Rinse and clean the kale. Pat dry and cut out the rib of the kale, slicing out the woody stem



With a sharp knife, slice the citrus (2 oranges and 1 grapefruit) skin and remove the pithy white rind from the fruit. Remove any seeds. Then turn the citrus on its side and carefully cut ¼” slices. Chill in refrigerator.


Peel and quarter the red onion and slice ¼ into slivers. Set aside.
Next, to mix the dressing, juice 3 Tablespoons of orange juice from 1/2 - 3/4 orange (depending on size). Then in a bowl, mix the orange juice, 2 Tablespoons of white wine vinegar, 2 ½ teaspoons of Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons of honey, ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon of fresh pepper. Slowly whisk in ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil. Whisk enough until it becomes thicker and emulsified.


Place the kale and onions in the bowl, add most of the dressing and mix to coat, leaving a little for the next step. Add the citrus, sprinkle in the crumbled goat cheese and pumpkin seeds. Then pour over the remaining dressing.




This recipe was adapted from Southern Living Magazine.

Florida native Robin Draper is a columnist and owner of the award-winning 2015 “Blog of the Year” and “Best Travel Blog” and website,, that features travel and lifestyle topics. Draper grew up on Siesta Key and spent countless days on the beach, in the sun and swimming in the Gulf of Mexico. She currently resides in Sarasota County.