A Winter Herb Salad

Carrot and Crispy Kale

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • To Perk Up A Lunch for

    4

Appears in

Salmagundi

By Sally Butcher

Published 2014

  • About

Gaia, Demeter, Ceres (whatever your pet name for Mother Earth) is really quite a clever divine entity. She sends fruit to cool the febrile in summer and veg to soothe the flu-ridden in winter. And even when the fields are apparently barren and there is frost on the ground, she sends us stuff to use for salads. It may not be the pert lettuces and juicy tomatoes of summer, but it is still saladable.

If you have a herb patch, frankly there is no excuse for it to lie fallow at any time. Coriander, parsley, mint, salad burnet, fennel, chervil, sorrel and dill enjoy the cooler months, and then there are winter varieties of purslane and savory. Kale too is happiest sprouting in the colder months. Check out Dan Pearson’s guide for a few handy hints.

If you don’t grow your own (and I have to admit that, while I sing her praises, it is likely that Mother Earth shudders at my cack-handed attempts at horticulture), then these leafy goodies are available to buy at good greengrocers and farmers’ markets. Better still, chat up your mate with the allotment...

Ingredients

  • 1 fat head of curly kale or cavolo nero
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled
  • 2 tbsp pure olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp caraway seeds
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • 75 g/ oz/ cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 nice apple, cored
  • 50 g/ oz.smoked cheese, diced
  • 1 very big handful of mixed fresh winter herbs: your choice of parsley, chervil, coriander (cilantro), sorrel and dill, roughly chopped

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.

Chop the kale into 2.5cm/1in wide strips and place it in a bowl. Cut the carrot into matchsticks and add it to the kale. Mix the pure olive oil with a sprinkling of salt and pepper together with the caraway and fennel seeds, and pour the mixture over the kale/carrot combo, rubbing it in with your hands to ensure that the strips are all coated. Then spread the veg out on a baking tray and roast them for around 10 minutes: you are aiming for a crispy rather than cremated effect. Set aside but keep warmish.

Turn the oven down to 150°C/300°F/Gas mark 2, pop the pumpkin seeds into an oven dish and roast for about 6 minutes, or until crisp, before adding them to the hot veg.

Next, cut the apple into matchsticks and mix together in a bowl along with the cheese and chopped herbs. Add the warm vegetables and pumpkin seeds, then whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour them over the salad.

Serve as a cracking ‘vegetable’ dish with your roast: it works well with pork or lamb.

For the Dressing

  • 4tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1tbsp cider (or apple) vinegar
  • 1tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper