Kale & Grapefruit Salad


A friend told me about this salad early in the summer: I had a garden-full of beautiful kale, and was looking for new & interesting ways to eat it (my favorite way is to quickly pan-saute and drizzle with good balsamic vinegar). She mentioned that her mother had a raw kale salad with grapefruit at a restaurant, and that it was refreshing and delightful. I was a bit skeptical, as I’d never eaten a bowl full of raw kale leaves.

I lightening-fast found a recipe for exactly what she described (what? I wasn’t the first to know about this newfangled salad? what a shock to my kitchen ego). It was so simple, and while the heartiness of kale leaves might not appeal to the staunchly salad-wary, the grapefruit performs a wonderful balancing act of lending needed acidity and fruity texture.

As a bonus, it’s a salad that is coming into its season. Cooler weather brings citrus, and kale flourishes in the crisp fall air (I am told that I will be cutting kale out of the snow, come December).

This makes a perfect side to something heavy — I served it with a rich breakfast strata, and it was exactly what I craved next to a thick slice of eggs, cheese, cream, and bread. I even ate leftovers, straight from the container, for lunch the next day. Because leftover-lunch-from-the-fridge is how I roll.

The salad is made to eyeball, so that’s how I’m re-writing the original recipe.


Recipe: Raw Kale & Grapefruit Salad

from this recipe at Elana’s Pantry


  • one bunch of kale (any variety)
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • fresh-squeezed juice of 1 lime
  • good balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled & cut into bite-sized wedges


  1. Tear the leaves from the kale, and discard stems. Cut leaves into thin strips and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Drizzle leaves with olive oil. Using your hands, massage the oil into the leaves to help soften.
  3. Add the juice of half a lime, and drizzle lightly with balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Add grapefruit to kale & toss.
  5. Let stand for 15 minutes or so before serving to allow kale to soften.

Copyright © Katy Carter, 2011.



My Babies


Confession: I have a tendency to kill living things. Things that happen to be green.

When I was in grad school, I had a roommate who traveled for an entire summer. She had a few houseplants scattered ’round our apartment, on tables near windows and such. She left for the summer, and upon her return, walked into the apartment and gasped. Her houseplants were all brown, dried and dejected — as well they should’ve been, after not being watered for three months. In my defense (a weak one) — she never actually asked me to care for the plants; she just assumed I would do it, since I lived there and was supposedly her friend. When she asked, in confusion, why I didn’t do that, I answered her honestly: I just didn’t notice them. If it didn’t meow, or in some other way alert me of its need, I could effectively ignore it.

How I wish I could say I’ve changed. And maybe I have improved just a smidgeon — but I still repeatedly kill a maidenhair fern that I bought for our first house in Athens, 8 years ago (maidenhairs are known for their hardiness — so when mine turns completely brown, I just cut off all the foliage and start watering it again; it miraculously begins to show tiny green shoots, and eventually returns to a state of growth). I’m not sure what my problem is — part of me thinks I should have a greener thumb, what with being married to a guy who does ecology stuff (though he’s admittedly more of a policy man than biologist) and being into other domestic-like ventures such as cooking. I’m a pragmatist to my very bones, however; and while I love art and things of beauty, I tend toward items that have function as well as form. Perhaps that’s why I’m better at taking care of my potted herbs.

Continue reading “My Babies”