Christmas Kale the Swedish Way


On the classic Swedish Christmas table, you’ll always find some sort of kale salad. Often dressed with a citrus dressing it goes wonderfully well with all the various staples such as meatballs, ham, herring, cooked fish and sausages that are traditionally part of our ‘julbord’ – the Christmas version of the more known ‘smorgasbord’.

Rather than dishing up a big cooked lunch, we tend to have a myriad of smaller dishes that are eaten buffet style. That way you get a taste of most things and it gives you a much welcome variety of flavours. The same goes for vegetarian or vegan Christmas tables. You can make as many interesting dishes without meat or fish and still feel you are getting that Christmas feeling.


Today’s recipe will work equally well as a lunch dish or as part of a larger smorgasbord. In my book, there is no limit to how many salads that can fit onto a table and the added bonus is that they are decorative too. I have gone slightly off piste by adding amaranth sprouts as they provide the most amazing purple and makes everything stunning. The fact that they are also good for you is a huge bonus. Read more about the benefits of amaranth  here.

Christmas Kale Salad the Swedish Way

(serves 2)

250g kale, wilted through massage or by submerged in hot water for 1 min then rinsed in cold water.

1 orange or 2 mandarins

1 handful amaranth sprouts (violently purple and absolutely beautiful).

1 apple (or pear, mango or grapes)

2 tbsp roughly chopped walnuts

2 tbsp soaked raisins


1/2 tbsp runny honey

2 tbsp lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)

3 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

salt + pepper to taste

1/2 tsp dried chillies

How to:

Salad: Place the raisins in a cup and soften with hot water. Massage kale until soft. If you prefer to soak kale in hot water for 1 minute then make sure you don’t leave it longer and rinse with cool water immediately and place in a bowl. Cut the apple and orange in small pieces add to the bowl. Add the amaranth sprouts, soft raisins and walnuts to the salad and set aside.

Dressing: Squeeze the lemon and orange to create the fresh juice. Mix in the olive oil, honey, chili and season with salt and pepper. I like it a bit fiery but each to their own. Pour the dressing over the salad and let soak in for about 5 minutes then serve.


Birgitta x




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