Not that I’m here to tell you to eat salad in January. I really do prefer to look back fondly on a (somewhat) debaucherous December. I feel like that is what it is there for, and that soul food, laughter, togetherness and festivities all have their place in the grand scheme of things and are as good for us as salad, just on a different, sometimes harder to reach, level.
But sometimes your body will tell you exactly what it wants, and who would deny themselves an actual salad craving? Especially if you happen to be 37 weeks pregnant and your baby has been way too into French fries thus far. I nearly skipped (carefully on our iceberg-covered sidewalks) to the store to buy some leafy greens.
I figured some of you might be feeling the same way, so here it is: a hearty, fill in all of the vegetable-y gaps in your life, impossible not to feel awesome after eating, winter salad.
I’ve made it with flavours that range from bitter (liver love) to naturally sweet (balance) and everything in between. The textures range too, from crisp to crunchy to juicy. It’s the perfect salad for when you want the veggies but you don’t want the boredom.
I feel like I always do a health paragraph or two to point out just how nutrient-dense the ingredients are, and how they mop up cancer cells/feed your healthy cells. But you guys, the ingredients are dark, leafy greens, darkly pigmented veggies and black radish. I won’t bore you with the details, not in January when we’re all being nutritionally lectured. Your body wants this salad.
But I will point out something sort of cool that we did with this recipe. I got the idea after eating 1-2 day old salad my entire life (not my favourite pregnancy snack, but the old me was super into it). Certain veggies did better than others on day two, including the onions. It’s like overnight they had time to pickle in the acidity of the vinaigrette.
So we did it intentionally with this recipe by slicing the onions, making the vinaigrette and then pouring it overtop of the onions to allow them to pickle before adding them plus the dressing to the salad. I’ve definitely pickled veggies for salad before, but by adding them right to the vinaigrette, there is no leftover vinegar to use up and no loss of the (nutrient-rich) pigment that leaches out of the onions –it goes right into the dressing.
Also! The onions stay raw, but it mellows out their aggressive flavour. It makes them play better with the other salad team members. It’s also really helpful if you’re not great at slicing them very thin, this mellows out the bigger chunkier pieces too. It would work well in any salad recipe that includes onions (think about the big diced onions in a Greek salad) just add them to the vinaigrette/salad dressing beforehand for 20 minutes (or for as long as you have).
We ate a big mountain of this salad with this Crispy Roast Cauliflower and Broccoli (buffalo-style), which warmed things up and balanced it out nicely. I might even make it again tonight.
Things my husband said about this salad:
‘I think I like this’ (followed by) ‘I really like this’
‘I’m glad there are no onions in it, they would take over’ (tee hee)
‘Make sure you tell them it’s really good the next day, in a wrap.’ (it does taste good the next day, I agree).
- 1 bunch of Lacinato Kale (about 6 leaves), thinly sliced
- 1 bunch of Purple or Green Curly Kale (or dandelion greens, mustard greens, or escarole), thinly sliced
- 1 small or ½ head of Radicchio, thinly sliced
- 1 small Fennel Bulb, thinly sliced (or grated)
- 1 medium Beet, thinly sliced into matchsticks (or grated)
- 1 Black Radish, thinly sliced into matchsticks (or grated) (or any radishes)
- 1-2 Granny Smith (green) Apples, thinly sliced into matchsticks (or grated)
- ½ c Parsley, Chopped
- ½ medium Red Onion, thinly sliced
- ½ c any nuts or seeds (optional)
- 2 Dated, pitted
- 1 tsp Mustard
- ¼ c Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
- ¼ c fresh Lemon juice
- 5 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Sea(weed) Salt, to taste
- In a blender (or with a hand blender), blend all of the vinaigrette ingredients together until smooth.
- Pour the vinaigrette into a jar or narrow bowl and add the sliced onions, poking them under so that they're mostly submerged.
- Leave them for 20 minutes (or up to a day or two) to allow them to 'pickle' and mellow in flavour (they will soften in texture and look more pink than purple).
- In a big bowl, toss the vinaigrette and the pickled onions with the salad ingredients.
- Adjust seasoning and serve.