11 Nov Kale + Citrus Salad
Though temperatures have fallen across the country in the last two weeks, that doesn’t mean that we have to reach for the roast meats and hotpots. A good winter salad can keep us feeling fresh and vibrant, while we curl up in front of the fire.
Kale is available year round in supermarkets, but it’s traditionally a winter vegetable, in peak from late autumn to early spring. Irish-grown curly kale is the most ubiquitous but you can head to your local farmers’ market to pick up lesser-seen varieties such as Ragged Jack Kale, for something different.
Brown Envelope Seeds is an organic seed business based on a family farm in West Cork. They have a catalogue of seeds that you can order online and receive in the post, alongside growing tips and advice on how to make the most out of your seeds. They have a number of varieties, like asparagus kale and the Ragged Jack, the seeds of which you can have delivered to your door for planting. Find out more, including the best time and conditions under which to plant kale seeds, on www.brownenvelopeseeds.com.
Even though I do think salads have a place in winter – my traditional grandmother would have disagreed! – I do think a good salty cheese helps to beef up the comfort levels, so I’ve used feta in this salad. It’s the same with the honey roasted carrots; it just adds a bit more winter warmth. The citrus of orange in the dressing also brings a sunnier clime to our winter salad bowl. Feel free to add a full slice of orange to the bowl, too. For the dressing, I’ve also recommended using apple cider vinegar but red wine vinegar is fine too if that’s all you have to hand in your pantry.
Kale + Citrus Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
1 tablespoon of runny honey
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 large handfuls of kale
3 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of runny honey
Juice of half an orange
50g of feta
Quarter of a fresh pomegranate
1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds
1. Pre-heat your oven to 200c/180c fan/gas mark 6. Peel the carrots and slice in half lengthways, from top to bottom. Cut these halves in half so you have eight long pieces of carrots. Place in a roasting dish and drizzle with honey, oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pop in the oven for 20 minutes, or until tender but still maintaining a bit of bite.
2. Remove the leaves from the kale stalks and tear them into smaller pieces. Give them a good wash if needed, and put them in a large salad bowl.
3. In a jug, mix together the rapeseed oil, apple cider vinegar, the honey, and the juice of half an orange. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and mix well.
4. Pour a third of the dressing into the bowl with the kale leaves and spend a few minutes using your hands to massage into the kale leaves. This will help soften the leaves. Add a bit more dressing as you go along if needs be.
5. When done, add the roasted carrots to the bowl. Crumble the feta on top. Remove the seeds from the quarter of a pomegranate and add to the bowl. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Serve with the extra dressing on the side.
Storecupboard Essential: Apple Cider Vinegar
Though delicious at any time of year, apple cider vinegar is a great companion for the autumn/winter kitchen. Pick up Llewellyn’s apple cider vinegar (www.llewellynsorchard.ie), made in North County Dublin or Highbank Orchards (www.highbankorchards.com) organic apple cider vinegar, made in Kilkenny. Use it in dressings, slaws and slow-cooked bean stews.
This recipe first appeared in The Irish Independent on Thursday 10th November 2016