Americans are becoming more accustomed to bitter flavors, as evidenced by some of the food trends we’ve seen in recent years – extra dark chocolate, bitter greens like arugula and dandelion, and craft beers that are heavy on the hops. If you’ve acquired a taste for foods that lean toward bitter, you’ll want to try Baby Kale and Grapefruit Salad with Campari Vinaigrette. This is a delicious salad with mildly bitter back notes that are nicely balanced by the salty feta and the sugars in the vinegar and candied walnuts. There is only 1 tablespoon of Campari in the vinaigrette but the flavor it imparts is unmistakable.
Campari is a unique Italian liqueur made from a secret blend of citrus and herbs. It is steeped in history and full of contradictions. It’s origins date back to the 1860’s when Gaspare Campari concocted the bitter libation in his Milan basement and began selling it. Since then, it’s become an important part of Italian culture. It’s beautiful but bitter, classic yet trendy, and mysterious and ubiquitous all at the same time. The fact that nobody knows exactly what’s in Campari only adds to its allure.
This recipe calls for grapefruit segments that have been supremed. To” supreme” grapefruit means to cut around the membranes of the fruit sections so that all you are left with is the citrus and none of the white pith or outer surrounding membrane. Use a sharp knife to slice the peel off the grapefruit (including all the white pith), then cut between the membranes to release the grapefruit segments. Alternatively, you can buy grapefruit that has already been supremed. I found the grapefruit I used for this recipe in the refrigerated produce aisle of my grocery store. I’m sure you could find them canned as well, just be sure to rinse off the syrupy liquid they come in before adding them to the salad.
Campari on its own is intensely bitter but when paired with ingredients that balance and offset some of this bitterness, it will delight the taste buds. Such is the case with Baby Kale and Grapefruit Salad with Campari Vinaigrette – a simple and sophisticated salad with a vinaigrette made from a classic Italian aperitif and a new way to enjoy Campari.
- 3 ounces baby kale
- 20 grapefruit pieces/segments, about 7 ounces, that have been supremed (white pith and surrounding membrane removed)
- ¼ cup/1 ounce feta cheese crumbles
- ¼ cup/1 ounce candied walnuts (recipe follows in "Notes") or chopped toasted walnuts
- ½ avocado, pit removed, flesh scooped out, and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 6 tablespoons/3 ounces olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon Campari – Italian liqueur
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- In a medium bowl combine the baby kale, grapefruit pieces, feta, candied walnuts, and avocado.
- In a small bowl make the vinaigrette by whisking together the olive oil or avocado oil, Campari, white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss until all of the baby kale leaves are evenly coated.
½ cup sugar
4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 egg white
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 lb. chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in small bowl and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together the egg white and the vanilla extract until frothy. Add the walnuts and toss until they are evenly coated with the egg white mixture. Add the cinnamon and sugar and toss again to coat the walnuts. Pour the mixture onto the sheet pan and spread into a single layer. Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 30 minutes.
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