Dandelion, Kale, Cara Cara Orange and Kumquat with Spice-Roasted Walnuts

The next two recipes are necessary to prepare a salad we saw Joanne Weir prepare on her television show, “Joanne Weir Gets Fresh.” The combination of ingredients and the potpourri of spices needed for the walnuts got our attention. If you want to make the salad, you will need the next recipe for Sweet, Salt and Spice Walnuts, which is the next entry on the blog.

Since it is winter in Minnesota, we did not have any dandelions to pick for the salad. What we did find was a blend of fresh greens that included kale. The one we selected was called Kale Italia from Earthbound Farm. We also did not have any kumquats; we can vouch that the salad is great without the kumquats or the dandelions. Later this year, we will try making the salad with all the ingredients, and we will report back if we think we missed anything with our first version.

Cara Cara oranges are a type of navel orange; these oranges are a cross between two types of navels and originated in Venezuela. Today Cara Cara oranges are largely grown in California and reach their peak season between December and April. So they are available now!

These oranges have the same round shape and bright orange rind as traditional navels. What really sets them apart is the flesh! Cara Cara oranges have distinct pinkish-red and orange flesh. These oranges have a remarkable taste; compared to traditional navels, The Cara Caras are sweeter, slightly tangy, and less acidic. These oranges are also seedless.

We have talked about kumquats before; if you can find them at your grocery store or market, do not be afraid to add them to this salad. They will add a refreshing tang to your dish!

Here is the link to Joanne Weir’s recipe.


3 Cara Cara oranges
2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small bunch dandelion greens, tender, young ends trimmed
1/2 bunch curly kale, stems removed, leaves torn into 1- to 2-inch pieces
12 kumquats, thinly sliced, seeds removed
3/4 cup Sweet, Salt and Spice Walnuts (next recipe on blog)


Using one of the three oranges, finely zest one teaspoon of zest and place in a small bowl. Squeeze 2 tablespoons of juice from the orange and add the juice to the orange zest.

Add the balsamic vinegar and olive oil to the bowl and whisk together. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

With the remaining 2 oranges, using a sharp knife, cut the tops and bottoms off the oranges to reveal the colored flesh. Place one of the cut sides down on a work surface. Using a small sharp knife, cut off the peel and white pith from top to bottom. Turn the fruit to the opposite cut side and remove any white pith. Cut the oranges into 1/4-inch slices. Set aside.

Place the dandelion greens, kale and kumquats in a large salad bowl. Toss the greens with the dressing. Add the oranges and walnuts and toss gently. Serve right away.



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