Brazilian Orange Raw Kale Salad

citrus kale salad, Brazilian Greens, easy kale salad

The first time I ate feijoada, it was served with an excellent collard green salad. It was the perfect compliment to the rich and thick black bean stew.

After doing a little research, I learned kale is also used to make Brazilian greens. Since I grow kale in my garden and I know that many of you are looking for additional ways to use this healthy leafy green (kale is a rich source of vitamins and minerals and is touted by health advocates as having anti-inflamatory benefits), I created this super easy Brazilian kale salad with oranges.

Kale was introduced to Brazil during Portuguese colonization along with other food stuff like: figs, citrus fruits, coconuts, rice, watermelon, Guinea pumpkin, mustard, cabbage, lettuce, coriander, cucumbers, watercress, eggplant, carrots, according to the Encyclopedia of Food and Culture.

Since Brazilian greens and feijoada are served with orange wedges, it was obvious to me to combine the greens and oranges into a more-modern version.

Nearly all the recipes for Brazilian green salad that I could find in cookbooks and online called for cooking the kale or collards – either boiling, blanching, or sautéing them. In our house we prefer to eat our kale raw, so this salad is one of the raw kale versions in our rotation. If you haven’t eaten raw kale, don’t be alarmed.  The citrus in the dressing tenderizes the greens and also removes the bitterness – much like the ever-popular lemon-parmesean-based one that populates the internet.  If you like or if you’re greens are super bitter, give them a quick saute before adding them to the salad.

You could also use collards or swiss chard as a substitute. As far as all things kale, I prefer the lacinato variety over others. Lacinato kale can also be found under the names cavolo nero, black cabbage, Tuscan cabbage, Tuscan kale, and dinosaur kale.

Whether you make feijoada or not, you’ll want to try this salad. By the way, it’s one of those salads that’s better the next day or two after the flavors have melded and the greens have fully softened.

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I’m one of the finalists up for Best Latina Food Blog sponsored by Blogs By Latinas. I appreciate every single vote of support nominating Fork Fingers Chopsticks to get me this far. Would you vote for FFC in the final round?

  • Vote at Blogs by Latinas before midnight Tuesday, July 26, 2011.
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For almost two years, this blog has been the space where I combine my creative talents and passion food. Thank you, not only to those who voted or who will vote, but to all of you who follow my kitchen escapades as I explore ingredients and culture.

Happy eating!

Raw Kale Salad

Serves 4


1 bunch kale (I prefer Lacinato)

¼ cup red onion, slivered

1 orange, peeled and segmented (see video, if you’ve never done this)


Black Pepper

Farofa or farinha (toasted cassava/manioc flour), optional


  1. Make sure to thoroughly wash kale, give the leaves a good soak or two plus massage the crevices of the backside of the leaves. Set aside to dry. Remove the tough center stems. Stack the kale leaves and role into a cigar-shape. Slice the kale into thin ribbons.
  2. Place kale in a large, non-reactive bowl. Drizzle the kale with about half of the salad dressing. Massage the kale with your hands to coat the kale and to soften it. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes, then add more dressing if necessary. Allow to sit at least 10 more minutes.
  3. Add the slivered onions and orange segments. Toss lightly. Serve and top with farofa.

Orange Citrus Salad Dressing

Makes about ½ cup


2 tablespoons orange juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon sweet vinegar (I prefer sweet seasoned rice vinegar)

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon honey, agave or sweetener

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Black pepper


In a bowl or jar, add all the ingredients and whisk/shake. Adjust seasoning. It should be acidic. Keeps for a few days (longer if you don’t add the garlic until use).


Greens:  Collard greens, cabbage, swiss chard

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20 Responses to Brazilian Orange Raw Kale Salad

  1. Just wanted to stop by and let you know that I have finally made my blogroll and you are on it! Check it out at =) Love your sites theme!

  2. I keep seeing recipes for raw kale salads and haven’t tried one yet. Thanks for demystifying it. Sounds easy and satisfying.

  3. Karen Harris says:

    I love leafy greens but you are right, I normally cook them because of the toughness. On your recommendation I’ll definitely give them a try raw and dressed. This looks delicious.

  4. My mom makes a citrusy dressing similar to this one. When I’m home I can’t get enough of it. Good call on the kale!

  5. […] Brazilian Orange Raw Kale Salad | Fork Fingers Chopsticks Orange Citrus Salad Dressing. Makes about ½ cup Ingredients. 2 tablespoons orange juice 3 tablespoons olive oil. 1 tablespoon sweet vinegar (I prefer sweet seasoned rice vinegar). 1 large clove garlic, minced […]

  6. Hi Andrea, I missed you! We love kale at our house. I often use it in a frittata. I am sure my family would also enjoy your salad. I love the combination with the orange.
    Let’s get together soon.

  7. Andrea, I love kale and often try to convince my husband to love it more, too.

    This might work!


  8. Vikki Ryan says:

    This looks so, soo good!
    I didn’t grow any this year, but the farmers’ markets have some beautiful kale right now, so it’s easy to come by.
    I’ll definitely be trying this!

    Thanks, Andrea.

  9. Celestina says:

    What a simple and healthy dish! Will definitely have to try this one soon…Thanks for sharing, Andrea!!

  10. I really like kale and make it into a pesto to put on garlic toast. But now I see it looks fantastic raw in a salad. Your salad dressing recipe has great ingredients, too. Love your photos.

  11. we have a similar recipe like this too however we don’t use kale but other leafy vegetable available in our backyard back home.
    Thank you for dropping by my blog, and which brings me to yours… and yeah to answer your question on which brand to use for soy and vinegar: i use silver swan or datu puti. I hope that helps. thanks again,

  12. […] found this Brazilian Style Kale Salad Recipe over at Fork Fingers Chopsticks and adapted it a bit to make it my own. The orange juice and vinegar in the dressing help breakdown […]

  13. Simon Flashlights…

    Brazilian Orange Raw Kale Salad | Fork Fingers Chopsticks…

  14. Sasuke says:

    I just knew you were going to link that the salad dressing rceipe. I still have that post opened in another tab waiting to be tested. Loved that article in MSL. It’s gorgeous. Bravo!

  15. credit cpc says:

    Learning a ton from these neat articles.

  16. Your thinking matches mine – great minds think alike!

  17. alter says:

    Frankly I think that’s absolutely good stuff.

  18. Extremely helpful article, please write more.

  19. Home run! Great slugging with that answer!

  20. This is what we need – an insight to make everyone think

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